Shane van Gisbergen says his Holden ZB Commodore is still running at a speed deficit to his rivals despite recent changes to his car.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver received an engine change at the Darwin SuperSprint and went on to claim pole position and then a second place finish at Hidden Valley Raceway.
The Kiwi continued that form at the NTI Townsville SuperSprint with a third place finish in Race 20, but lamented a lack of relative straight line speed.
The 31-year-old noted his battle with Monster Energy Racing driver Cameron Waters, who he passed to claim a podium, but said wasn’t without a deep dive under brakes.
“It was awesome fun, but so hard,” said van Gisbergen after the race.
“We still lack so much straight line for some reason. Even on Cam, I had such a good run out of the corner and he just pulled away.
“I had to do all the moves from so far back. That’s fun, but it’s frustrating when you’re losing so much in the straight line.”
It was a strong comeback for the New Zealander, who was tangled up in a Lap 1 crash at Turn 2 in Race 19.
With tyres in hand, the Kiwi made the most of the additional grip to make a charge from seventh through to the podium.
“We had a problem yesterday, guys did an awesome job fixing it up,” said van Gisbergen.
“We lacked a bit in quali, but the race car was awesome. This afternoon’s going to be tough, but we’ll try and do the same and carve through.”
Race 21 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship gets underway at 15:40 local time/AEST.