HE is frustrated, he is down on confidence and is struggling to find a solution to rectify a lack of car speed, but Tim Slade is working hard to stay 'open minded' ahead of the Bathurst 1000.
Slade began season 2019 in impressive fashion for Brad Jones Racing with top 10 results in six of his first seven races. But in a brutally honest appraisal he says his season says he has: "been terrible since".
After beginning round three sitting fifth in the championship, Slade will head to Bathurst in 15th.
What makes the drop off in performance of his Commodore even harder to take is that team-mate Nick Percat is currently ranked eighth in the championship and enjoying consistently strong results.
"There's been a little bit of bad luck, but that's only a very small part of it. It's more so just been the car speed, so it's frustrating that things haven't really been making sense," Slade admitted.
"The car eight side of the garage have some really good speed and have been getting really, really solid results ... but yeah, we've thrown a lot of things at it and it doesn't really seem to react too much.
"It's definitely been a bit of head scratching going on and obviously frustrating. It's not the best lead in to the biggest race of the year."
While naturally Slade would much prefer to have a strong package and form on his side when he arrives at Mount Panorama, he is trying to draw optimism from one of his past results in the 1000 with BJR.
In 2016 he and Ash Walsh, the same man who will be his co-driver this year, had good car speed and ran near the head of the field before placing seventh.
"Traditionally the BJR cars have been fairly strong at Bathurst and my first year with BJR the car was amazing, we were third in the qualifying session, fifth in the shootout and were running second, but then we had that drama in the pits where the brakes caught on fire," Slade said.
"We still went from being two laps down to getting back to seventh."
Last year Slade and Walsh ran 17th in the Great Race, the 34-year-old saying "that was probably the start of my car not really doing what it should."
He admits he doesn't "have great confidence leading in" to what will be his 11th Bathurst 1000, but Slade is still hoping the Mount brings him luck and his team finds that elusive car speed.
"I'll go in open minded, I'll do what we do, and hopefully the car behaves like it's meant to and we come out with a solid result," he said.
"I suppose that's everyone's dream but yeah, it would be nice for us given it's been so tough of late.
"It definitely makes the week a hell of a lot easier to deal with if you've got a decent package to work with."
Practice for the Bathurst 1000 starts next Thursday, October 10.