Matthew Payne fought back from the depths of the backmarkers to finish tenth in the opening Porsche Carrera Cup race in Townsville.
The young New Zealander had earlier qualified on pole position, only to suffer a clutch issue at the race start that dropped him back to almost dead last.
Not letting the problem demotivate his spirits, Payne pinned his ears back and scythed his way up to tenth by the chequered flag.
It was a robust drive, with well-calculated overtakes and a consistently strong pace.
“After an awesome qualifying session, we had clutch issues off the line for the race start,” Payne said.
“Very sorry to the team as I think we could’ve had a really good result this afternoon.
“Car speed is really good so hopefully we can get back up the front in tomorrow’s two races.”
The actual result of the race remains to be determined, with provisional race winner Cooper Murray under investigation.
Murray tipped erstwhile race leader Aaron Love into a spin while battling for on-track superiority.
Championship leader Cameron Hill then overtook Murray, only to lose the spot again a few corners later.
Murray led Hill over the line by just over four seconds, though any post-race penalty will strip him of the win.
Update: Hill is confirmed as race winner after Murray was handed a time penalty.
For Payne, his lightning pace so far this weekend is a good omen for tomorrow’s pair of races.
He also proved overtaking is possible at a narrow street circuit like Townsville, which rewards bravery and a well-tuned car.
The first race tomorrow begins at 10.40 am NZT.