Supercars Dunlop Series rookie Richard Muscat has praised teammate James Golding, saying a healthy relationship has helped them both push forward in the development category.
Given ‘Bieber’ is a mechanic for the team, Muscat joked it was important to keep him on side, as the Garry Rogers Mmotorsport boys push to top the Prodrive pair leading the way in the championship.
Golding is just 109 points behind front runner Jack Le Brocq with three rounds left in the Series, while Prodrive's Garry Jacobson sits second.
Tackling his first full season, Muscat has found Golding's guidance and support helpful, and enjoys the joyous team environment at GRM.
“It’s been a really good working with him, he obviously works on my car a bit so I’ve got to trust him a bit more than any other usual teammate,” Muscat joked.
“At the test days he has helped me a lot and we’ve worked together in car development and moving forward as a team to make the cars go faster.
“As everyone knows 'Bieber' is doing the co-driving stint with James Moffat this year, so he is a good bench marking teammate.
“If you can beat him or run with him, you know you are up there trying to get into the co-driving spots for next year.”
Golding debuted in the Dunlop Series in 2014 at Sydney Olympic Park with Wilson Security PAYCE GRM. He completed his rookie season in 2015 finishing 10th overall.
2016 marks the first year Garry Rogers Motorsport has run a two car team in the Dunlop Series.
While Golding usually helps out with the Volvos at race meetings, his role as a co-driver means he has plenty on his plate balancing Dunlop Series contention as well.
Golding spent Tuesday's test at Winton behind the wheel of Moffat’s S60, leaving Muscat the sole Dunlop Series GRM driver on track.
The smooth test day was a confidence booster for Muscat who sits 13th but is aiming to hit the top five by the end of the season.
“We did about 110 laps yesterday. The more laps I do the more comfortable I feel," Muscat said.
“It was really productive we tried a lot of things to see what works.
“I think we got what we needed to get and we should be in a good position for Sandown. I’m pretty confident so hopefully we get a strong result.
“We are getting there and slowly improving each round.”
There are eight rookies in the Dunlop Series field. Muscat is in the running for top placing rookie, with 19 points separating Dunlop Series leading rookies Adam Marjoram, Anton De Pasquale and Muscat.
“I haven’t thought much about the rookie of the year; I’m just trying to win races overall that’s my goal,” Muscat said.
“There are a few rookies this year so to be the first rookie would be an added bonus and achievement to show you’ve progressed the most.
“I’m looking more at the overall goal; I want to be top five in the whole field for the remainder of the year."
Muscat highlighted his determination to fight at the front and his strong ambitions for 2017.
“Next year I’d like to finish at the top of the championship and get a co-driver seat for 2017 that’s my goals for right now."
He has demonstrated ability to adapt to different race categories rapidly, previously having raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup in 2015 and the Australian GT Championship in 2014.
Muscat emphasised his Car of the Future Holden Commodore VF is the complete opposite to what he’s driven in the past.
“It’s very different … I’m just learning technique and trying to get 110 per cent out of the car is the biggest thing.”
The Dunlop Series will be back on-track next weekend at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, September 16-18.