Fabian Coulthard labelled set-up issues and bad luck for his below par start to the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the Adelaide 500.
The #12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford struggled for pace throughout the series curtain raiser in the South Australian capital.
Coulthard, operating alongside a new engineer in Mark Fenning, was unable to unlock the one lap pace in his brand new Falcon FGX, compared to team-mate Scott McLaughlin.
Last year’s championship contender qualified 18th and 12th for the two races.
His struggles continued in the races coming home 21st in Race 1, after a collision with Richie Stanaway, and 16th in Race 2, while McLaughlin finished third before recovering from a puncture to finish in 10th spot.
“Unfortunately there’s not too many positives to come out of this weekend,” said Coulthard.
“We just never quite got on top of the car’s set-up, and had some bad luck too, which means you qualify down the order.
“That throws you into the pack, and it’s tough to come back from that in this competitive field.”
Coulthard will now focus his attention on bouncing back to form when the series moves to Melbourne for its inaugural championship round at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
The circuit proved a happy hunting ground for the Kiwi last season having scored two wins in the four exhibition races.
“I’m looking forward to the AGP though, we went really well there last year, and with it being for points in 2018 I can’t wait to head to Melbourne in a few weeks,” he added.
The Supercars Championship will reconvene at Albert Park from March 22-25.