Aaren Russell is putting a frustrating run in Perth behind him as his Novocastrian team prepares for next week's round three of the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series at Winton Motor Raceway.
The 23-year old will be aiming for another 'personal best' result when he hits the track, after the bittersweet Perth event last week.
He felt the team had made significant steps forward this season, and while that culminated in a podium result at the season opening Clipsal 500, the best he could manage at Barbagallo Racewaywas fifth on Saturday, with contact in both of Sunday's races ultimately costing him.
"Barbagallo Raceway is a circuit where we have struggled for speed somewhat in recent years, so to be running at the front of the field on Saturday really underlines the progress we've made over the last 12 months," he said, focusing on the positives of a difficult race meeting.
"I really enjoyed the race and we added another top five finish to our tally, so that at least gives us something to take out of the weekend ... the car was working well and we were able to mix it with the bigger teams yet again."
Russell sits eighth in the Championship and is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel at Winton.
It's a track where he has completed plenty of laps in the past, having previously been his test track - but in terms of results, Winton is a place he is yet to conquer.
"It has been a good and bad track for us in the past actually, mainly bad to be honest!" Russell told v8supercars.com.au.
"We had a wheel come loose last year, which kind of wrecked the weekend, and the year before we were taken out in race one and put in the back as well - so it hasn't been good to us ... but in saying that we've never had the car speed that we've had this year."
Looking ahead this year, he says it's a "little bit of excitement, a little bit of the unknown".
"We've kind of been doing personal bests at every track this year," he said.
"I don't go in with many expectations, I don't want to add any more pressure to myself than I already have."
Given the short turnaround between events, Novocastrian Motorsport has chosen to head straight to Melbourne from Perth and is preparing the car at a Victorian workshop.
Though the calendar means plenty of work to get through in a tight timeframe, Russell believed managing the two-week turnaround was a positive experience for he and the team, as it closely aligned with what the V8 Supercars Championship teams deal with throughout the year.
One hundred points are on offer per race this weekend, meaning there's a total 300 up for grabs across the Winton SuperSprint's Dunlop Series races.
Russell is just 14 points off nearest competitor Ant Pedersen, and 42 points from the top five.ENZED Prodrive youngster Cameron Waters leads the way; heading to a circuit where he won one of the races at the circuit last year.
The V8 Supercars Dunlop Series hit the track for practice on Friday, before qualifying and racing over the weekend.