John Bowe pulled out an impressive improvement aboard the Cat Racing EL Falcon in qualifying today on the streets of Surfers Paradise at the Honda Indy 300.
The V8 Supercar star was only 23rd and 21st in practice yesterday in a one-off drive aboard the ex-John Briggs EL Falcon.
But after hard work by the Cat crew overnight, Bowe improved in qualifying to be 16th.
"Normally, I wouldn't be very excited over qualifying 16th, but we have made a lot of improvement to the car from yesterday," Bowe said.
"I could have gone even faster, but I made a bit of a mistake at the end of the back straight which cost me a bit of time on my best qualifying lap.
"The car is certainly not as strong as our Bathurst AU Falcon but we have a good chance of pulling out some top ten results if we keep out of trouble."
Holden driver Mark Skaife qualified fastest in the single session today. The final grid positions were due to be finalised by a top ten shoot-out late today.
A number of drivers have already struck major problems. Paul Morris crashed in practice yesterday, while championship challenger Garth Tander also crashed heavily in qualifying today - failing to complete a lap.
A number of other drivers also had their qualifying times disallowed for bouncing their cars over the chicane kerbs.
"Our aim for this weekend is going to be to try to keep out of trouble," Bowe said.
"It is very tough because if somebody crashes in one of the chicanes around the circuit, you can end up with a chain reaction because your line of vision is also restricted with the circuit lined with concrete walls.
"If you are following too somebody closely, if they manage to crash you are often left with no-where to go.
After suffering an engine misfire yesterday in the Ford V8, Bowe enjoyed a trouble free-run in qualifying today.
"The engine ran fine in qualifying today and I am actually very impressed with the gearbox in this car," Bowe said.
"We were set to have another go for a time towards the end of the session today, but were beaten by the chequered flag.
"I am looking forward to racing tomorrow because it has been a couple of years since I actually got to race here."
QUALIFYING 1. - Skaife (Holden) - 1:53.255 2. - Johnson (Ford) - 1:53.582 3. - Radisich (Ford) - 1:53.665 4. - Lowndes (Holden) - 1:53.690 5. - Ingall (Holden) - 1:53.721 6. - Ellery (Ford) - 1:53.909 7. - Larkham (Ford) - 1:54.280 8. - Murphy (Holden) - 1:54.400 9. - Longhurst (Ford) - 1:54.573 10. - Richards (Holden) - 1:54.665 16th BOWE (CAT FALCON EL) - 1:55.653
TIMETABLE: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14th 11.30am - Race One - 10 laps 3.15pm - Race Two - 10 laps