Cat Racing star John Bowe fought back from a disappointing day yesterday to launch a charge from the back of the field in the final V8 Supercar race at the Honda Indy 300 in Queensland today.
After suffering an engine failure yesterdy when the radiator inlet became blocked with leaves and debris, Bowe was forced to start from the back of the grid in position 25.
The Tasmanian then began a charge, passing ten cars in ten laps to finish 15th aboard Cat Racing's older model EL Ford Falcon.
"The car was acutally quite strong today and considering how it was when we first hit the track this weekend, I have been really pleased with the improvement," Bowe said.
"If it wasn't for the engine drama yesterday, we could have finished with a reasonable result.
"Considering this car is about seven years old, I am acutally surprised with how well it went.
"This car would be really strong in the V8 Lites championship."
A former winner on the streets of Surfers' Paradise, Bowe's progress could have been even stronger if not for late race problems.
"The brakes started to go away at the end of the race, but that was always a problem with the EL Falcon around this circuit because you don't get a lot of airflow between the concrete walls," Bowe said.
Today's race was won by Holden driver Russell Ingall ahead of Ford's Paul Radisich.
Radisich won the event overall after taking yesterday's two events.
The concrete walls of Surfers' Paradise claimed another victim today with Mark Skaife crashing out of the event.
In previous days,top Bathurst bound cars driven by Greg Murphy, Steven Richards, Steve Ellery and Garth Tander all suffered serious damage.
Bowe is now eagerly awaiting the chance to go testing aboard the team's AU Falcon in preparation for Bathurst.
"I think we are very well positioned for Bathurst this year and certainly far better prepared compared to 1999," Bowe said.
"The team worked very well at the Queensland 500 recently and I think our car will be very strong on the Mountain.
"With Jim Richards, I also have the perfect co-driver. He clinched the GTP Nation's Cup Championship today in his Porsche and both of us are very keen to do well at Bathurst this year."
<pre> RACE THREE 1. - Ingall (Holden) - 19:14.575 2. - Radisich (Ford) - 19:16.366 3. - Lowndes (Holden) - 19:24.402 4. - Bargwanna (Holden) - 19:33.066 5. - Larkham (Ford) - 19:33.267 6. - Longhurst (Ford) - 19:33.929 7. - Crompton (Ford) - 19:34.257 8. - Baird (Ford) - 19:34.574 9. - Morris (Holden) - 19:45.063 10. - Forbes (Holden) - 19:45.518 15th BOWE (CAT FALCON EL) - 19:51.848