Tim Slade is perplexed over a “mystery” loss in pace after another nondescript showing.
Slade has retained 10th in the championship despite scoring just one top 10 finish in nine races.
The CoolDrive Mustang is on a barren run since Perth, where he finished 13th, 13th and 10th.
After finishes of 16th, 15th and 20th at Winton, Slade returned to Darwin hoping for an upswing in form.
While Slade had pace in the races, finishes of 12th, 14th and 11th still weren’t what he was hoping for.
“We struggled again; Perth, Winton, here,” he told Supercars’ Cool Down Lap podcast.
“I’m not sure; it’s a mystery. We just have no pace in qualifying.
“We move our way forwards in the race, but it probably goes hand-in-hand with our qualifying form.
“I don’t think we really turned the tyre on and work it, and I think that helps us in the race.”
Slade’s average qualifying position across the Perth, Winton and Darwin rounds is a lowly 18.7.
The Blanchard Racing Team has managed to get Slade to the front in the races, a trend consistent with the whole season.
Slade has gained a staggering 78 positions from starting spots this season.
Nick Percat (57) and Lee Holdsworth (50) are the only other drivers to have gained 50 or more positions.
Slade knows he has pace in races, but still believes he isn’t yet a contender for wins.
“We’re still not going to win the race with the pace we have in the race,” he said.
“But other people around us from 10th down, we can be better than them over a stint length.
“We’ve gotta work harder, we’ll go to the workshop and work through everything.
“Make sure everything’s where it should be and go again.”
The 2022 season will resume next month in Townsville.
Purchase your NTI Townsville 500 tickets now.