Mark Winterbottom is desperate to kick start his Supercars Championship hopes at this weekend’s WD-40 Phillip Island after describing his current form is ‘killing him deep down’.
The Prodrive driver heads to the third round of the championship lying 12th in the standings, behind his team-mates Cameron Waters and Chaz Mostert, following a difficult start to the campaign.
Winterbottom has recorded just one top 10 finish from four races with the result arriving in the shortened Race 3 at Symmons Plains, which organisers elected not to issue points.
The 2015 Supercars champion has been hit by an engine issue at the season opening Clipsal 500 and a brake problem prior to the Tasmania Super Sprint.
Despite his slow start, the 35-year-old says his motivation to turnaround his fortunes remains stronger than ever.
Winterbottom has used the time between races to further develop his relationship with his new engineer for 2017 Brendan Hogan.
“Where we’ve been the opening couple rounds – it’s killing me deep down,” said Winterbottom.
“I only race this sport to be competitive and the last couple of rounds have been killing me deep down because I know I should be further up the grid than what we’re doing.
“I don’t show up to putt around the back, so I’ve been smashing the gym, spending plenty of time with my engineer, and just as motivated as ever to get up the front.
“That’s not arrogance, that’s how you feel you should be.
“You can never question the motivation, we’re out there to get the #1 back on the door; that’s always the goal.”
“If we can get our setup right I think we can be pretty quick, but it will be really important for us to get on top of that early.”
Winterbottom will begin his WD-40 Phillip Island 500 campaign on Friday with opening practice set to start at 1230 AEST.