Andre Heimgartner says Kelly Racing “chucked everything” at his Ford Mustang to strike a set-up balance at the Reid Park Street Circuit.
Both Heimgartner and his team-mate Rick Kelly have struggled since the Darwin Triple Crown to find the window.
With limited track time, Heimgartner hasn’t been able to resolve his set-up woes and could only muster a 14th place finish in Race 20 while Kelly was 20th.
Having not run a cool suit in the 39-lap race, Heimgartner emerged from his car at the end of the race sweating.
Asked whether the car was hard to drive, the 25-year-old said it was “a bit of a handful”.
“Obviously when it’s not handling nicely you have to work a lot harder,” said Heimgartner.
“Fourteenth isn’t too bad considering the weekend we’ve had. We’ve really struggled finding the balance this weekend, we’ve chucked everything at it and we haven’t found it.”
Heimgartner tried to draw some positives from the result, including a strong opening lap that saw him knocking on the top 10.
The Kiwi said the team will have to experiment to try and get his and Kelly’s cars back towards the front.
“It was cool to have a good first lap,” said Heimgartner.
“We made up seven spots or something, but we didn’t quite have the speed to hang on in the end there.
“It’s really hard because our problem isn’t necessarily on used tyres; when we chuck the green tyres on it just turns really bad.
“We can try as much stuff as we want in this, but I don’t think it’s going to give us a true read.
“We’ll definitely be trying some springs, trying everything we can to get it going because we’re really struggling.
“Credit to all the guys, they’re still pushing on, everyone’s still got a smile on their face so we’ll keep it going.”
To add insult to injury, Heimgartner received damage after the race in the pit lane congestion.
“I can’t remember who was in front of me, they just jammed on the brakes so I stopped, and it all concertinaed.
“It was like the traffic lights, and I don’t think anyone was actually paying attention in the pit lane because the race was over. We’ve got a bit of damage but it’ll be alright.”
Race 21 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship gets underway at 15:40 local time/AEST.