Kiwi driver Richie Stanaway has poured his energy into joining Kiwis Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin in a fulltime assault on the Supercars championship next year.
The talented 25-year-old has enjoyed a successful European career including a factory Aston Martin drive but after a stint as co-driver in Supercars last year Stanaway wants to move back to Australasia fulltime.
He will partner Cam Waters in this year's Pirtek Endurance Cup with races at Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast and hopes that leads to a permanent drive next year.
"The only thing that interests me is V8 Supercars so that is the only thing on the radar," Stanaway told herald.co.nz. "I am not planning on going back to Europe.
"Obviously being at the enduros this year as a co-driver and being around that paddock is what I need to push for a fulltime drive next year."
Stanaway caught the eye of many Supercars fans, teams and commentators with his impressive display as co-driver for Chris Pither at Super Black Racing last year. In particular, his drive in wet conditions at the Sandown 500 drew plenty of praise.
While he hinted at being interested in a fulltime drive in the category last year nothing really serious eventuated.
"There was no serious talk - there were some discussions around the Super Black license that was moving to BJR - some very brief discussions about that but nothing serious.
"Nothing obviously materialized for this year but hopefully we can put something together for next year."
It won't be easy for Stanaway to get a fulltime seat as many of the top spots are filled while others are used for drivers that bring sponsorship to the table.
"The tough thing is I do want to be in a competitive car - I don't want to take a drive in a car too far down the grid," Stanaway said. "That limits the options a lot but that's what I will be trying to do."
The two leading teams - DJR Team Penske and Triple Eight Racing have their drivers locked in for next year.
Prodrive Racing Australia has been the other major player in recent seasons and the Ford outfit has 2015 champion Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert contracted. They are likely to bring back Waters after his impressive season to date.
Walkinshaw Racing has its drivers locked in for next year while Garth Tander holds a multi-year contract at Garry Rogers Motorsport. Nissan Motorsport has Michael Caruso and Simona de Silvestro under contract next year so would only have a seat free if either of the Kelly brothers opted to step away from fulltime racing.
Stanaway's best option would be veteran Jason Bright's drive at PRA or to look at the spare seat at GRM or any of the three seats currently open at Brad Jones Racing.
"It depends whether or not [PRA] would be able to make it work. I'm not sure what their plan is for next year so I will have to talk to them about that," he said.
His best chance of earning a fulltime drive is to do well this year as a co-driver.
"Last year went pretty well and so this year should be a little bit easier. I didn't know the car that well and I hadn't raced at any of the tracks before in a V8 so that was pretty much worse case scenario.
"Cam has been doing a great job this year - he's made a massive step up compared to last year.
"The target for us is obviously to win Bathurst and I think it is not too unrealistic to say that. I'm solid enough as a co-driver and then he jumps in to finish the race off. If we had a good run there is no reason why we couldn't win so that is what we will work towards.
"It would be career-changing not only for me but for Cam as well."
Meanwhile Stanaway will be in New Zealand over summer and is open to competing in some domestic racing. He has followed van Gisbergen's lead in declaring himself a certain starter for the New Zealand Grand Prix should a guest drive become available.
"I'd love to do that. It would be good fun," he said. "I'd love to do the Grand Prix. If the offer was there then I definitely wouldn't say no."