Wellington driver Brock Cooley feels he'll be able to move his Speedy Signs Ford Falcon further up the grid as the BNT NZ Touring Cars Championship moves to Manfeild this weekend.
The reigning class two champion made the move to class one of the championship this season, but by his own admission says it has been a lot of hard work by himself and his team to get speed out of the car.
"Up until Teretonga the season has been bit of a struggle to be honest, not through lack of effort. But we just hadn't got our heads around the new car as fast as we would have liked from a set up point of view and my own driving hasn't been good enough," says Cooley.
"It has been a bigger learning curve with the new car than we all thought going into this season. We knew it wasn't going to be easy but it has been harder than that again. I have to keep reminding myself we are up against the best drivers and teams in the country."
After a tough few opening rounds Cooley says some of the key set-ups for the car were unlocked at Teretonga last month.
"Owen Evans and his Smeg Racing team have been a massive help to us all season."
"On Saturday night at Teretonga his team set my car up for us and we had the second fastest lap in race two and was on for our first podium in race three until I was too eager on the throttle out of the last corner and got wheel spin allowing Nick Ross past."
"It was so good to have a car that was capable of running with the front guys."
"That's a huge confidence booster for us as a team. We know the car is fast and capable, we just have to maximize those opportunities on track and we'll be able to bring home some strong results."
Manfield is Cooley's home track, a circuit where he has had a lot of success in the past and has tested his Speedy Signs Ford Falcon in the off-season and says he is more confident off the back of the Teretonga improvements.
"It gives us more confidence heading into the weekend. I obviously know the place well and just hope we have the same car speed we did at Teretonga on Sunday and I will be able to put on a good show for our sponsors."