Prodrive Racing’s Mark Winterbottom says his motivation to reclaim the number one is higher than ever despite a tough start to his 2017 campaign.
The 2015 series champion is yet to crack the top-10 in a points scoring race this year and his early season form has been overshadowed by teammates Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters.
Winterbottom said his early season results have packed a sting, but has not diminished his drive to add to his single championship.
Despite being one of the most experienced campaigners on the grid, the Ford star denied age is a factor in his current form.
“I wouldn’t call myself a veteran,” he said ahead of the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.
“I’m 35, there’s guys a lot older than me still battling for their first title let alone their second.
“I only race this sport to be competitive and the last couple of rounds have been killing me deep down because I know I should be further up the grid than what we’re doing.
“That’s not arrogance, that’s how you feel you should be.
“I don’t race to putter around the back. That’s killing me lately.”
Winterbottom is working with a new engineer, Brendan Hogan, in 2017 after his title-winning engineer Jason Grey stepped away from duties.
While 2017 marks Hogan’s second season with the team after taking charge of car #6 in 2016, the experienced pairing is yet to produce predicted results on track.
Winterbottom previously explained an engine drama at the Clipsal 500 halted his progress while brake dramas underscored his potential at the Australian Grand Prix.
“My motivation is higher than ever to get a result,” he concluded.
“I want it for my engineer because he’s under pressure. I’m under pressure.
“The motivation is huge. I’m smashing the gym and punishing the engineers big time.
“I’m in here all the time and giving them feedback and stuff.
“You never question your motivation. It’s huge to get a result and get number one back. That’s why we race.”