Tickford Racing driver Cameron Waters says poor tyre preservation is holding him back from converting strong qualifying performances into podiums.
After a third place finish at the season-opening Adelaide 500, Waters has yet to find the podium since the Supercars season resumed at Sydney Motorsport Park.
In both editions of the Sydney SuperSprint, Waters recorded two third place qualifying performances, neither of which he was able to convert into a podium finish.
Speaking at the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown, where he will start Race 14 and 15 from 13th and fifth respectively, Waters said his in-race pace isn’t good enough to compete for podiums.
“We can qualify well but it’s more the race pace,” Waters lamented.
“Our car probably isn’t looking after the tyres as nicely as it could be so for regular podiums, it’s finding that little bit of tyre life.
“I think that’s also going to come in qualifying. When we find the next step we’re looking for in the race, it’ll be the same in qualifying.”
Asked what it would take to take his car to the next level, Waters replied, “We don’t need much.”
“Sam Potter (Tickford Racing Race Engineer) and myself have been throwing a fair bit at the car,” Waters added.
“Even this weekend we tried some big things in practice to try to find what we’re looking for and we thought we’d found a little bit of it.
“But it’s the whole package you’ve got to build around a set-up. We’re finding bits and pieces but we probably haven’t put it all together yet.
“We’re consistently up there and we’re definitely influencing what the car is doing, which is a good thing – we’ve just got to put it all together.”
Waters said he anticipated two tough races to completed the first weekend at Hidden Valley Raceway.
Only a handful of drivers ran on soft compound tyres during Race 13, meaning the majority of the field – including Waters – will have soft tyres in hand for Race 14 and Race 15.
Waters said that could make life difficult with a car that is harder on tyre wear.
“I think, unlike SMP, a lot of people are in the same boat now with their tyres,” said Waters.
“There isn’t as many that ran them yesterday so I think you’re going to have to have a fast car, look after the tyres, have a really good pit stop and hopefully it’s all enough.”
Race 14 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is scheduled to start at 13:20 local time/13:50 AEST.