Current V8 Supercars champ Mark Winterbottom has gone winless in seven races this season, but is not worried about being able to defend his crown.
Though he was not totally happy with the performance of his Prodrive Ford Falcon FG X at the last two events, he has made the most of it, finishing on the podium and bringing home enough points to keep him third in the standings.
At this stage of the season, drivers don’t like to get caught up chatting about the championship – but there must be a point where all that changes?
Taking podium finishes and points when he can is the key, Winterbottom says – maximising the bad days and tougher circuits.
“Sunday was tough, to finish second – you’ve just got to keep doing that,” he told v8supercars.com.
“We’ve definitely got a shot at it for sure, which is good,” he said of the Championship win.
“You think early – Adelaide everyone’s getting carried away with the points table and whatever, but standing here now you feel like you’re a chance at winning the championship.
“So you’re thinking about it, but it doesn’t matter unless you have a car that can win races. You have to win races. You have to win races to win the championship.”
He’s happy biding his time for now, though.
“I’m just waiting for the car to come to me a bit and then we’ll have a red hot crack again,” Winterbottom said.
“You've just got to look at it at the moment, you look at your performance and the qualifying’s really good.
“So you go, ‘if I can keep going on my average on qualifying, we’ve got a good shot at the thing again’. But then you look at your race pace and you’re like, ‘we’re getting beaten by half a second’.”
Last year Winterbottom won two of the three races in Perth, the event the Supercars contest next.
In fact, he won at four of the next five events, with Winton, Townsville and Queensland Raceway also successful circuits for the current number one.