Richie Stanaway is hoping his relative familiarity with the Winton circuit will help make this weekend a turning point to what's been a difficult start to life as a Supercars driver.
The former Aston Martin GT star has endured a rocky beginning to his full-time Supercars career, with on-track incidents, lack of familiarity with the Australian circuits, and a general inconsistency in Tickford Racing's form all playing a part.
He currently sits dead last in the points, with only three Top 20 finishes from the 12 races so far, the best being an 18th at the Australian Grand Prix.
This weekend the series heads to Winton, which is Tickford's test track. And while Stanaway has never raced a Supercar at Winton, he does have testing miles under his belt at the Victorian circuit.
That means he'll head into a race weekend with proper Supercars experience and track knowledge for the first time this season, rather than either flying blind or relying on nine-year-old know-how from his Formula Ford days.
“Winton the first track we go to that I’ve driven at in a Supercar, so I’m looking forward to racing there," said the Kiwi.
"Every other track we’ve raced at I either raced at it in Formula Ford almost a decade ago or I’ve never been there, so it will be nice to have some familiarity with the track for a change.
"I’m hopeful we can have a stronger weekend and prove we’re better than this year has shown so far. The weather’s a bit spotty for the weekend but honestly I hope it’s dry so I can capitalise on the experience I’ve had there.
"I’ve only done a few test days there but that’s more than anywhere else so I want to maximise my opportunity and give us a proper read on what we’re capable of.
"I’m out of excuses this time around, so I’m looking forward to giving the team a result they deserve.”
Tickford finally broke its podium drought last time out in Perth thanks to Mark Winterbottom's second place on Saturday. Team boss Tim Edwards is hoping to keep that upward trend going at Winton, before the pre-Darwin winter break.
"It’s been a flat out few months for the team and we have a bit of a break after Winton so at least in terms of racing this weekend is essentially the end of the first segment of the season," he said.
"Obviously it hasn’t gotten off to the start we had wanted but the crew have worked extremely hard and we finally saw it start to pay off by getting a trophy in Perth, so we’re hopeful we can continue that this weekend.
"It would be nice to end this string of races with a positive result, so we’ll aim to head into the break with a strong weekend.”