Kiwi V8s star says he’s still getting comfy with his new car — and Red Bull Racing — but his formbook’s strong.

Michael Caruso may be leading the V8 Supercars championship at the moment, but it's highly unlikely the Nissan Motorsport outfit will still be on top come tomorrow.

Going on the formbook after Melbourne, Shane van Gisbergen (three wins from four starts) will be the man the beat, despite his not being totally at home in the new car and new Red Bull Racing Australia team.

"Melbourne was good and I'm getting more and more comfy in the car," said van Gisbergen. "The chassis is the same as last year but there are a load of different bits on it.

"It's very different to the Tekno car that's for sure. Obviously the car is good but it's going to take me a while to get used to it so I can get 100 per cent out of it.


"I struggled in Adelaide quite a lot but ... Melbourne was much better.

"It was mostly a test weekend but we also wanted to do well.

"I can get a quick lap out of it and be fast for sure, but I don't know what the car is doing. I'm always reacting to it and not guiding it just yet. It's not second nature yet.

"It'll come though, and then we'll be more consistent," the Kiwi said.

Another who has adapted very well to a new car and a new team is fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard, who is doing his DJR Team Penske outfit proud by being at the pointy end of the field. His 17th position in the series doesn't do the team justice as they struggled at the opening round at Adelaide. But Coulthard made amends at Albert Park by achieving the podium in the last race.

"Melbourne wasn't too bad and that's what I have to keep reminding myself about. It's only my second round with this the team and to get a result [second] like that so soon is good," said Coulthard.

"The car is getting better but I'm still having to think about what I'm doing when driving it. I'd much rather it was second nature so that I can concentrate on what the car is actually doing.

"The short time I've been with the team things have been good. We're not here to be runners up but we are realistic about how tough it is going to be to. We just have to keep going about our business and learning more about what makes this car tick from round to round."

Defending champion Mark Winterbottom, 12th on the points table, is confident he and his Ford will be a better package on the tight and technical Tasmanian track. He knows he needs a bag full of points if he's to stay in the hunt and defend his 2015 championship. He, along with every other driver, knows qualifying well is vital on the short and deceptively simple-looking track. There are two heavy braking zones that will cause havoc with the brakes and tyres if not handled well. Passing is difficult and most will be done at the hairpin and the end of the long curving straight into the lefthander.

With only five corners, each one represents 20 per cent of a lap, so if a driver muffs just one he's behind the curve for most of the rest of the lap.

"I've been quite good here [Symmons Plains] in the past. Last year I was third and fourth and it's a good track. It looks easy on paper but it's quite tough and I enjoy racing here. Every corner is critical and you can loose time easily," said van Gisbergen.

Coulthard is of a similar mind in that he needs to be precise and get off the corners well to make any inroads, especially in qualifying.

"I've got fond memories of this place [Symmons Plains]. I got my first pole here, as well as first podium and race win. It's been a happy hunting ground in the past but it'll be a bit different this weekend.

"If things keep going the way we are and building on our success we'll be leaving Tassie in a better place."

Van Gisbergen's teammates Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes also looked good two weeks ago and both reckon the circuit will suit all the Triple Eight cars.

Chase Mostert has shown the occasional good turn of speed since his comeback from an accident at last year's Bathurst 1000 and wants to show he can still run with the leading pack, if not beat them.

Of the three remaining Kiwis in the field, Scott McLaughlin is the one most looking forward to charging towards the front this weekend. The Volvo pilot sits sixth on the table and wants to make the most of his good start to the season.

Andre Heimgartner (21st) and Chris Pither (25th) will use the weekend to further improve and hopefully be a bit further up the pecking order at the end of the weekend.

There's a 50-lap race today and the longer 84-lapper tomorrow.