Shane van Gisbergen admitted “we suck” after qualifying 15th and 22nd for Race 29 and 30 at the OTR SuperSprint The Bend.
Qualifying at the Tailem Bend circuit was punctuated by a mistake in the second session, which saw the Red Bull Holden Racing Team run off the road at the penultimate corner.
The Kiwi went on to set a 1:16.3862s on his first flying lap with new tyres on, a time that eventually saw him finish a second off the pace of pole sitter Scott McLaughlin.
With time for a second flying lap, van Gisbergen crossed the line with two seconds to spare in the session, but didn’t press on with a last-gasp effort.
His Sunday slump stood in stark contrast to his Saturday pace, which saw him qualify third and finish second in Race 28 behind Shell V-Power Racing Team driver McLaughlin.
The 31-year-old was left confused by the lack of qualifying speed.
“That’s just where we are, unfortunately,” said van Gisbergen.
“We’ve detuned something. The car was so fast yesterday and I just get out there and I feel like I’m on ice.
“It was a pretty good lap and we’re 22nd. It’s weird.
“We’ve got no words man, we suck. I don’t know. We need to get better.
“I’ve got no words, man. We’re 22nd.”
It was a form reversal of sorts in the Triple Eight Race Engineering garage after team-mate Jamie Whincup struggled on Saturday, qualifying 14th and going on to finish 10th.
The championship contender bounced back on Sunday, qualifying fourth and third for Race 29 and 30 respectively.
Race 29 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship starts at 11:50 local time/12:20 AEST.