Scott McLaughlin and Shell V-Power Racing have to "get it together" on Saturday morning after a mixed opening day at The Bend, the championship leader concedes.
McLaughlin was 18th and 12th in Friday's two OTR SuperSprint practice sessions, finishing 2.1418 seconds off the pace set by title rival Shane van Gisbergen.
The New Zealander and team-mate Fabian Coulthard are in the group of drivers who did not complete any pre-event laps of the new South Australian circuit.
Having admitted he "looked like an absolute Gumby" in Practice 1, McLaughlin had another untidy session in the afternoon.
He ran wide at Turn 5 in the early stages and then made a mistake on a late flying lap, having chased rear-end stability from the Shell Falcon.
While relaxed about the day's outcome, McLaughlin is looking to turn things around in Practice 3 on Saturday morning, before ARMOR ALL Qualifying.
“We’re not too bad, but we’re not at the optimum pace we need to be and know we can be," McLaughlin said.
"There’s plenty for me to work on in my driving, and plenty for Ludo [Lacroix, engineer] to work on in the car.
"We’ve got another session tomorrow morning, and we’ve got to get it together then and hopefully have a direction before qualifying.”
Coulthard was ahead of McLaughlin in 10th in the morning but did not get within seven tenths of that effort in the afternoon.
That left him 25th on the Practice 2 timesheets, and 24th on the day's combined order, also chasing rear-grip.
“Practice 1 was good, learning the track and coming to grips with it pretty quickly," Coulthard said.
"We didn’t change the car too much from P1 to P2, but it felt quite different, so we made some changes to try to improve it.
"We’ll go through everything overnight and try to make it better.
"I made a couple of small errors on my final flier, locking up a couple of times.
"Good thing is we have another practice tomorrow morning before qualifying, where we’ll be aiming to be somewhere up the front.”