Jim Beam Racing will hope to build on an up and down season to date as the V8 Supercar Championship heads to Darwin this weekend for the latest round of the year.

After qualifying third at Sandown last month, Will Davison was forced to retire from the opening race with mechanical difficulties while Steve Johnson put in a solid top ten round result after disappointing qualifying.

With a new Dunlop control tyre to be introduced in Darwin, both drivers expect the first practice session on Friday to play a huge role in the outcome of the weekend as teams search for the best car set up and find out just how the cars react to the new rubber compound.

"We have a run sheet in place for Friday's practice with a variety of things we want to test in relation to the new tyre this weekend in Darwin," Davison explained. "It may very well have an impact on team strategy depending on just how much extra grip and consistency we get from the tyre.

"If drivers are able to stay out on the track for longer periods it may change a team's pit stop strategy which will have an obvious flow on affect right across the board. From all reports the new tyre will provide some extra grip but we will just have to wait and see if it does change how we go about our strategy for racing."

Johnson also pointed to the Friday's practice session as very important to the team's fortunes for the weekend and will be chasing a result for his new daughter Lacy Renee - born just a week before the race.

"There's an element of the unknown for sure, no one has used the tyres at a round before so we need to ensure we are on top of things by the end of practice," he said. "It's definitely a relief that Lacy has come into the world before I leave for Darwin; I was able to be by Bree's side and everything has worked out quite well, both mother and daughter are healthy and did an amazing job."