WIth the Gold Coast lashed by high winds today, John Bowe's promising race one assault at the Honda Indy 300 was halted by track debris.
Aboard the team's older model EL Falcon, Bowe dodged a major incident early in the race to move from 16th to 12th on the opening lap.
However, with the track littered with paper and leaves from surrounding trees, the radiator inlet became blocked, causing the engine to overheat after a handful of laps.
"We pitted when the temperature started to go through the roof to clear the radiator duct, but the damage had already been done," Bowe said.
"You don't get a lot of airflow into the cars at the best of times at Indy and a couple of laps running slowly behind the safety car also didn't help.
"We went back out after the pitting, but the car had dropped a cylinder.
"It was disappointing because I managed to keep out of trouble early."
The opening race was disrupted by a safety car period after a major incident involving the Ford's of Mark Larkham, Steve Ellery and Steven Johnson as well as the Holden's of Steven Richards and Greg Murphy.
"I saw the track blocked and actually moved over to the side of the road while looking in the mirror to make sure nobody ran into the back of me," Bowe said.
"Then a gap opened through the carnage and I was able to get through. Unfortunately, our luck ran out quickly after that."
Despite frantic work from the Cat Racing crew, the team were unable to replace the engine in time to contest the second race of the afternoon.
Bowe will now start from the back of the grid in tomorrow's final race.
"Things were looking pretty good, but it hasn't worked out well for us," Bowe said.
"At least our Bathurst preparations are not disrupted by this weekend.
"Garth Tander, Steven Richards and Greg Murphy have also suffered major damage this weekend to the cars they will race on the mountain.
"Next year it wont be a drama because Bathurst will be before the Indy event."
Today's two races were won by Ford's Paul Radisich ahead of Holden driver Russell Ingall.
<pre> RACE ONE 1. - Radisich (Ford) - 27:22.794 2. - Ingall (Holden) - 27:23.207 3. - Skaife (Holden) - 27:27.215 4. - Lowndes (Holden) - 27:27.576 5. - Bargwanna (Holden) - 27:32.225 DNF BOWE (CAT FALCON EL)
RACE TWO 1. - Radisich (Ford) - 21:02.144 2. - Ingall (Holden) - 21:03.907 3. - Lowndes (Holden) - 21:04.278 4. - Skaife (Holden) - 21:06.678 5. - Bargwana (Holden) - 21:12.102 DNS BOWE (CAT FALCON EL) -
TIMETABLE: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15th 12.00 noon - Race Three - 10 laps