Setting the third-fastest time in today's two-part race at Phillip Island was cold comfort for Team BOC's Jason Bright after he limped home to finish 24th.
Part one of the 28-lap race started badly as Bright's clutch dropped off on the start line, relegating him to 12th from eighth on the grid. He was then tagged by James Courtney on lap five and spun out to 25th, recovering to 18th by the half time break.
Part two was going better as Bright carved his way up to 15th but a delaminated tyre on lap 26 was a sad end to the day.
Qualifying for tomorrow's two 23-lap races starts at 11.10 before the first race at 13.45.
"We were in dirty air for most of the race and, when I was behind somebody, I had lots of understeer, which left me a sitting duck. I couldn't get a run on anyone. In the three laps of clear air I got during the whole race I was catching the leaders. We had the third fastest lap after Lowndes and Frosty so we've got a quick car; we've just got to start up the front and get off the line!
"It all went wrong when I lost my clutch on the start line. I had it loaded but lost the pedal completely. I was lucky to get away with it and then Courtney just had a lunge and ran into me. He hit me hard in the back wheel. That, and the delaminated tyre, just ruined our day really.
"We're definitely using the tyres very hard at the moment being stuck behind other cars. Todd Kelly and I had a touch for sure but I can't believe that caused the tyre to delaminate. It was four laps before and normally you would get a puncture straight away."