James Courtney has cast his focus to the upcoming mid-season test to reset after an “horrific” run in Tasmania.
The Tickford Racing veteran laid down the gauntlet ahead of Tasmania, saying Tickford was getting “quite strong”.
It came after the 2010 series champion brought home finishes of fifth, third and ninth in Perth to move to 17th, 66 points from the top 10.
Courtney’s prediction proved true, albeit on Waters’ side of the garage as the #5 Snowy Rivers Caravans Mustang was caught up in a number of incidents.
While Waters was second for the round, Courtney was wiped out in two incidents, and dropped to 20th overall, 178 points from the top 10.
After going second fastest in Practice 1, Courtney qualified 15th for Race 10 and picked up lap 1 damage after contact with Mark Winterbottom.
He finished seven laps down in 24th, with commentator Mark Skaife highlighting that Courtney had had a “shocking run”.
Come Sunday, and Courtney first raced from 17th to 16th before dropping to 22nd in the finale after contact with Andre Heimgartner.
Heimgartner bowled Courtney off early on, before he collided with Macauley Jones at Turn 7.
“It was horrific,” Courtney told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.
“There wasn’t a race we didn’t have damage or something go wrong.
“It was one to forget for us, but a positive coming out of it, the car was quite quick at the start of that last race until the drama down at [Turn] 1.
“On the other side, Cam had a really positive weekend — he had my weekend in Perth, now I had his weekend here.”
Tickford has form in Darwin — Waters won a race last June, his first victory at Hidden Valley Raceway.
Courtney is confident good results will come should luck be on his side, with the pre-Darwin test a crucial chance to unlock more speed in his car.
“Hopefully we go to Darwin and we’ll both have a clean weekend, and get some good results,” Courtney added.
“We have a test day until now and then, which will be really good.
“It’s a good way to roll into that and try some new things.”
The 2023 season will resume at the betr Darwin Triple Crown on June 16-18.