Kiwi Supercars star Shane Van Gisbergen knows he's about to enter make or break time in his fight for the 2016 championship.
The 27-year-old lies second in the standings as the series begins a run of three endurance events with double points up for grabs and shared drives with non-championship contending teammates to throw the cat among the pigeons.
"This is the biggest part of the year really," Van Gisbergen tells herald.co.nz. "The first part was really good - we've all ended up close the top four or five of us. But these endurance races - 300 points a weekend - makes or breaks your championship."
Van Gisbergen teams up with Frenchman Alex Premat, who raced fulltime in the series in 2012 and 2013 before linking up with Scott McLaughlin as a co-driver the past two years.
While Premat has plenty of experience driving V8s he hasn't done a lot of driving this year so what time he gets in preparation is vital.
"Alex gets a day in the car on Thursday. We will try and get him comfortable and be ready for Sandown.
"It is always hard seeing your baby get raced around by someone else but that is part of what it is. We trust those guys.
"Alex has a pretty awesome history in racing and now in Supercars. He was one of the fastest co-drivers the last couple of years with Scotty."
Van Gisbergen has endured a couple of disappointing results at the iconic Bathurst 1000 in recent times having suffered misfortune while leading the race but the Red Bull Racing Holden driver says he doesn't have to think much about having to choose between winning at the famous track or playing the end game and concentrating on overall championship glory.
"It is not a comparison for me," he says categorically. "It is the championship for me. Bathurst would be great to win but it is just a 300 point weekend at the end of the day and we have got 15 of them to do so a whole year's work means a bit more.
"If I'm second on the last lap I am still going to have a go and risk the race to get the win though."