Star driver Will Davison has declared Erebus Motorsport V8 must stay focussed on the future and not get distracted by shocks such as the recently announced departure of his teammate Lee Holdsworth.
Speaking after the Plus Fitness Phillip Island 400 where he scored a highly encouraging sixth place in the Sunday 200km mini-marathon, the former factory Ford driver said there was no direction for the team to go except forward.
"We have to, we don't have time to look back," Davison told v8supercars.com.au. "Particularly from my perspective it was a big call coming here, a big move and we've got to look forward."
Davison's first season with Betty Klimenko's privateer team after three years with Ford Performance Racing, has seen him spend long periods struggling in the midfield in the Beko Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. But he has also shown intermittent bursts of real speed when the combination clicks.
His best result was a third in Townsville, but there was also the fourth at Bathurst with brother Alex. Sixth (after qualifying 12th) at Phillip Island, could have been as high as third based on pace. However, he was held up badly in pitlane and that ended his podium chances.
"I am patient, I am not getting impatient, but I want to move forward," Davison said. "I am desperate to be competitive again and sixth place is a good effort; it's nice, but it's more the competitiveness at this stage for me. It's finding form and speed.
"If I was 10th and really quick that would be encouraging. Twelth to sixth, earning every one of those passes ... it is really rewarding, especially knowing it was an unlucky sixth not a lucky sixth."
"We just have to move on," he said. "Lee has a lot of good friends here and he has been an awesome teammate. I probably haven't enjoyed working with a teammate as much as Lee. Although we have been going through tough circumstances, he is a good guy to work with, a great driver, really fast.
"He is such a nice guy, he is like that as a teammate. There is no bull crap, there is no ego, we are very similar like that and it has been really productive ... we have a really good relationship and I have got a lot of respect for him.
"I will miss him as a teammate because you want someone quick, but you don't want a wankernext to you. So it's a bit of shame, but we will regroup."
Davison said the Phillip Island result was particularly significant because the Benz was competitive on a fast, flowing circuit, whereas it normally works better on tighter tracks and street circuits where it powers efficiently off 90 degree turns.
"These types of tracks have haunted us a bit, so we really have to try and work out what worked for us and it's quite exciting. You get on to it at Phillip Island and it should equate to a lot of other times we have struggled. It was a good breakthrough for us, a good milestone.
"But no doubt we are too inconsistent, but I can see what goes into it. I see we are throwing this into it, we are throwing that into it, that's our theory, that's that car's theory. And you just try and make sense of it and you just go up down and round and round a lot of the time.
"We are trying to manage that, but we are not there yet. But certainly I think next year, our starting spot at every track is going to be night and day compared to the second guessing we have been doing at a lot of tracks this years. We are getting there all the time."
Davison said more development of the M159 V8 engine was required for Erebus to become a consistent front-runner.
"There is no doubt about that in the engine side of things," he said. "That's where I have felt our performance over the last couple of months have dropped off."