Supercars rivals still ahead says Courtney

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Supercars veteran James Courtney may have claimed his first podium finish of the season but knows his Tickford Racing team is still a long way from contesting with the championship's best.

Courtney's second-placed finish in Sunday's second race at Perth's Wanneroo Raceway eased the hurt in the Ford team's garage after Cam Waters was denied a win in the opening event due to a five-second penalty which left him and team principal Tim Edwards fuming.

Those impressive results suggest Tickford are closing the gap on the dominant Red Bull Ampol Racing and Shell V-Power Racing teams.

Courtney says, while the results are encouraging, the ease with which Red Bull's Shane van Gisbergen caught him in the closing laps of Sunday's event before overtaking him highlights how much work there is to do.

"I wouldn't say we're catching them. They're still super speedy," Courtney said.

"Their consistency and their ability to come back if they have a bad session, they're able to recover so quickly, and that's something that we as a group need to work on.

"We still have a lot of little things that we need to tidy up, not only with us functioning as a team but also with the car, with the car build, the way the cars prepped and things like that.

"We clean up all those little one-percenters and have everything, all the ducks in a row, and then we can challenge these guys."

Van Gisbergen meanwhile is leaving Perth with a championship lead that has extended to 164 points over Shell V-Power's Anton De Pasquale.

The Holden driver's two wins in the west have made it eight No.1 finished from 12 races in 2022.

Despite his dominance, the 32-year-old New Zealander said there's still aspects of his performance he's disappointed with.

"There's still too many bad races," van Gisbergen said.

"We had a bad run at Sydney, which we salvaged. In Melbourne we made an error and then that race two we were average.

"It's either win or bin it feels like, so maybe I need to accept second or third sometimes."

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