Mobil 1 HSV Racing has abandoned a plan to leave its cars in Queensland between Townsville and Ipswich as it strives to improve its performances.
The team’s two Commodores have instead been dispatched back to its workshop in Clayton, Melbourne, where they will undergo upgrades ahead of the July 28-30 Ipswich event.
Star driver James Courtney brought home a ninth place finish in Townsville on Sunday, his first top 10 since the Adelaide season opener in March.
While that result was somewhat of a high point, it was another tough weekend for the team on a track where it had scored at least one podium each year since the event started in 2009.
“We were going to leave the cars here, prep them in Townsville and then leave them down near Ipswich,” Courtney confirmed to Supercars.com.
“But now the guys have some ideas of what to change in the car to get some upgrades in them before Ipswich so the boys have packed up.
“The truck will hightail it back to the workshop and the guys are going to strip the cars and try to get these upgrades in and fix a few little things then fire the truck back up to Ipswich.”
Courtney qualified 16th and 13th for the respective races and lost 10 laps early on Saturday after opening lap contact with Tim Slade damaged his steering.
Team-mate Scott Pye meanwhile clocked 14th and 19th in the qualifying sessions before finishing 12th and 18th in the races.
Courtney said it was a strange feeling to be happy with a top 10 on Sunday, but appeared somewhat relieved following his horror run of 10 races finishing 17th or worse.
“The boys did a really good job on the strategy and dropping me out in clean air,” he said of the Sunday race.
“In clean air you can manage your tyre and look after it which you saw with Will (Davison, who passed Courtney in the closing laps) at the end and come through.
“It’s unusual to be celebrating a top 10, but it’s the first time we’ve been in the top 10 since Clipsal which is scary, really, really scary.
“Hopefully all the dramas we’ve had our behind us and we can start to move forward.”
Pye and Courtney currently sit 18th and 20th in the championship respectively after 14 races.