SHANE van Gisbergen freely admits his Commodore "got smoked early in the year" by the Mustangs, but come the Bathurst 1000 he is hoping his Red Bull Holden Racing entry is setting the pace.
When the Commodores debuted a new aero package at Pukekohe last month, van Gisbergen topped qualifying, won Saturday's race and ran second on Sunday.
It saw the Kiwi jump from fourth to second behind Mustang driver Scott McLaughlin in the championship and offered him a confidence boost.
"It was good to have a nice car in the high speed corners. Certainly I feel like the aero has gotten better," he said after taking round honours.
"It will be interesting to see how it goes at Bathurst, particularly with the longer straight, how much it slows us down, but it feels like we can be on a closer playing field. Even, better, I'm not sure, but I certainly feel better about it."
While Red Bull's test day at Ipswich on Monday was more about working on getting his co-driver Garth Tander used to the set up and working on things such as pit stops, they did still explore the new package further.
But just what it will do for car speed at Mount Panorama is something van Gisbergen is not sure of.
"We spent Monday figuring out the new aero, what it does to the car, what it'll do in the high speed at Bathurst - Conrod Straight, that's almost 300 kays there, so figuring out what the car will do, we don't really know yet," he said.
"For us we got smoked early in the year, the Mustang was too good for us, too good for the class really.
"We had to claw a lot back and for us we've certainly moved up, got back into second. But Scotty has done an amazing job and his team, they don't make mistakes very often, so it's certainly going to be hard to get that gap back."
As for whether or nor he expects the race record to fall this year, van Gisbergen said "Probably". The record currently belongs to Craig Lowndes and Steve Richards who clocked a 6:01.44 last year in a Commodore ZB.
"The cars have gotten a lot faster this year, it depends on the weather. The track gets worse every year just through general wear and tear, but it the weather is right, for sure," he said.