After a disappointing weekend at Winton, Novocastrian Motorsport's Aaren Russell has his sights firmly set on regrouping his campaign at the Castrol EDGE Townsville 400.
The Newcastle-native salvaged 12th for the round at the NP300 NavaraWinton SuperSprint after a power-steering failure in race one resulted in the Plus Fitness Falcon finishing two laps down and in 25th position.
He described the 18-lapper with no power-steering as "the hardest race I've ever done in a V8 Supercar," but managed to come back through the field in race two to finish 14th, while in race three he entered the top ten, finishing seventh.
His difficult Winton assault follows a disappointing round in Perth where Russell was involved in a couple of incidents that saw him end the round in 15th.
The pair of disappointing results sees the Clipsal 500 podium-finisher drop to 10th in the series standings, but Russell plans to make his way back up to the top five after what he hopes will be a successful round at the upcoming Castrol EDGE Townsville 400.
"Perth and Winton are our bogey rounds, something always happens there and we can't seem to shake our bad luck at those two rounds," Russell told v8supercars.com.au.
"Top five in the series is our goal. Third was achievable at the start of the year but we've now dropped away a little bit after having some incidents and being unlucky, which has put a big dint in our championship.
"We went well at Townsville last year and after our progress from last year to this year we're going so much better, so I can't wait to get back to Townsville.
"We just have to keep getting constant points on the board and see where we go from there, but I'm excited to get back onto a street circuit - I love them, I can't get enough of them."
Despite his disappointing Wintonshowing, Russell credited series leader Cameron Waters and the Prodrive Racing Australia-supported team MW Motorsport for their strong form across the NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint.
Waters dominated Winton - winning all three races while leading every lap and every session across the weekend - while the MW Motorsport cars of Jack Le Brocq, Chris Pither and Simon Evans were 5th, 6th and 11th for the round respectively.
"All the PRA cars did a really good job, they managed the conditions the best and they were the ones up the front," he told v8supercars.com.au.
"We know we've got a strong car and have shown on many occassions that we can run at the front of the field [and mix it] with the bigger teams.
"We were struggling all weekend with the set-up but we finally found something in race three... I [would have] loved a fourth race, starting seventh"
At Townsville in 2014 Russell was on the fringes of the race one podium, taking the chequered flag in fourth before an incident in race two saw him cross the line in 24th and a lap down.
Make sure you're trackside to see Russell regroup his title hopes when the Dunlop Series resumes at the Castrol EDGE Townsville 400, July 10-12.
The Castrol EDGE Townsville 400 is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the state.
The Castrol EDGE Townsville 400 is a must see on everyone's calendar with three days of heart stopping action packed racing. Kids 12 and under receive free Trackside admission with a paying adult.
Free public transport is available on certain services to and from the event with a pre-purchased ticket. Don't miss a moment of Townsville's biggest party.
Grandstand and general tickets are available at www.ticketek.com.au or for more information visit www.v8supercars.com.au. For corporate hospitality visit http://www.supercars.com/tickets/corporate-hospitality for information and contact details.