Chaz Mostert says each Supercars race is being treated “like a test day” as he and engineer Adam De Borre ingrain themselves into the Walkinshaw Andretti United stable.
The Mobil 1 Appliances Online Racing driver went podium-less across two rounds at Sydney Motorsport and two rounds at Hidden Valley Raceway.
He often threatened to crack the top three with four finishes inside the top five, but a podium was not forthcoming for the 28-year-old.
However, with third place in Race 19 at the NTI Townsville SuperSprint, Mostert broke a dry spell dating back to the season-opening Adelaide 500 where he finished second in Race 2.
Mostert said one-lap pace has been a weakness of the #25 Holden ZB Commodore this season, which he said has put him on back foot from the outset.
Now the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner wants to find a happy medium between qualifying speed and in-race pace.
“Our one-lap pace has been pretty weak in the last couple of rounds,” said Mostert.
“We really got ourselves into contention starting in the top front two rows (in Townsville).
“This weekend we’re a fair bit different running the car than what we normally would and we probably hurt our race pace (in Race 19).
“We’ll try for the best of both worlds (on Sunday) and see if we can learn something.”
In what has been a year disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Mostert has been able to have at least one constant fixture in Race Engineer De Borre.
The pairing both migrated from Tickford Racing to Walkinshaw Andretti United at the start of 2020 having worked together for the best part of half a decade.
Mostert said the tumultuous period has been hard and 2020 is mostly about finding their feet and pushing set-up boundaries before an all-out assault on the 2021 championship.
“The hardest part for us with a new combination with driver and team, we just haven’t had a lot of time to learn what equipment we have under us,” said Mostert.
“So for me and Adam, it’s about treating each race almost as a test day at the moment. We’re trying a lot of things we normally would be nervous to try.
“The way this year has panned out, we have to use this as a building year into next year. We really need to take these opportunities to be aggressive.”
Asked whether he agreed that Walkinshaw Andretti United-built cars were particularly strong on street circuits, Mostert said he partially agreed with the sentiment.
“Adelaide was pretty good at the start of the year,” said Mostert.
“But the car we rolled around (on Saturday) in the race was night and day different to what we had at Adelaide.
“It seems to be the trend, it keeps following this team, they’re quite strong on street circuits and I think we just want to try to be strong everywhere.
“Other than the last Darwin round, I think we’ve been a consistent top five car for points for most rounds.
“(In Race 19) we really just got ourselves into contention with good starting position.”
Mostert will be out on track today for back-to-back qualifying sessions starting from 10:40 local time/AEST to determine the grid for Race 20 and 21.