Scott Pye believes that Mobil 1 Mega Racing needs a complete rethink in the architecture of its cars after finishing no higher than 15th at The Bend.
Pye was 21st and 20th in the respective Armor All Qualifying sessions at the OTR SuperSprint and went on to finish 15th in Race 21 and 16th in Race 22.
When invited to expand on the set-up challenge presented by The Bend Motorsport Park, the 29-year-old cited what he suspects is a deeper issue in the Walkinshaw Andretti United cars as the reason for his struggles.
“I think this is the first event in three that I haven't been lapped, so we've got some fundamental issues here with our cars and we're a long way away, so we're going to have to go back to the drawing board again and throw it all out and start again.
“It's so bloody hard to drive these things when they're not great so to come 15th and 16th and get out sweating balls is not very enjoyable now.”
The 2010 British Formula Ford champion has in fact finished no higher than 15th in the past seven races, having also done so on the Sunday in Townsville, and no higher than sixth in any race of the season to date.
Only once has he sat better than 16th in the championship, the position which he currently occupies, at the conclusion of a race, after creeping up to 15th overnight at Phillip Island, 13 races ago.
Pye suggested that WAU needs to start experimenting in order to hone in on exactly what its problem is.
“To be honest we haven't really tried any parts or anything, so it's hard to know what it could be,” he explained.
“We've got to start throwing some bits at it, I think, to find out.
“From our perspective, it's pretty clear what we're looking for. We all have a feel of sort of what we think we're needing, and we're always hounding the engineers and trying to work with them to fine tune what we've got.
“Just starting to think maybe the tools aren't in the toolbox at the moment and we need to go back to the drawing board a bit.
“But the guys are working their butts off and it's just so hard, there's no reward for anyone.
“It's not what we want, we're disappointed, we're working too hard for no reward.”
Team-mate James Courtney achieved a first top 10 result in six in the opening race of the OTR SuperSprint, and today rose from 14th in the championship to 12th despite finishing the 41-lap affair in 15th.
Courtney had a slightly different take on the matter when he spoke to Speedcafe.com after Race 21, identifying WAU's deficiency specifically as a qualifying weakness.
“It's just when you want that little bit more and drive the car that little bit harder, it just throws its hands in the air and doesn't want to be part of it,” said the 2010 Supercars champion.
“When you're kind to it and babying it like you are in the race, it's happy, but it doesn't like being roughed up, so we've just got to keep working on it.”