Qualifying towards the front is the first step to getting season 2023 back on track for Mark Winterbottom after a miserable trip to Perth.
Fanfare surrounded Winterbottom last time out, with the Team 18 veteran celebrating his 600th race start.
However, the celebrations didn’t translate to results, with Winterbottom’s weekend undone by poor qualifying results.
Winterbottom started 13th, 20th and 25th for the three Perth sprints, and finished 18th, 18th and 19th.
It undid the hard graft of the opening two rounds — after Newcastle, Winterbottom was seventh overall, 96 points down.
After Albert Park, he was 12th and 247 points down. In Perth, Winterbottom dropped to 18th, 417 points behind leader Brodie Kostecki.
Heading to Symmons Plains, Winterbottom’s focus is clear — bounce back, and qualify well.
"Heading to Tassie is a good chance for us to regain a bit of momentum and get our season back on track," Winterbottom said.
'We’ve regrouped and are determined to bounce back'
"After a challenging round in Perth, we’ve regrouped and are determined to bounce back stronger this weekend.
"Symmons Plains will be a tricky track to showcase those gains with the margins super close around there. If you find a tenth of a second, you could be five or six spots up.
"Our aim is to unlock the potential of our car early to put ourselves in the best position for qualifying.
"We’ve hit the reset button, made some changes and if we can execute well, then there’s no reason we can’t bounce back here."
Winterbottom has an affinity with Tasmania — he won there in 2010, and has finished all 46 starts at the 2.4km Symmons Plains venue.
The 38-time race winner also took Team 18’s first Supercars pole there in 2019, and has 11 Symmons podiums to his name.
"Symmons Plains is a special place for Charlie and the team after we got the team’s first pole back in 2019,” he said.
"The cars and team have evolved since then but it would be great to tap into some of our learnings from that day and deliver another strong weekend for the team.”
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint this weekend.
Supercars will hit the track for the first time on Saturday for Practice 1 at 9:00am local time.
Tickets for the event are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.