PRACTICE and qualifying for the NSW Combined Sedans at Mount Panorama might have been tough going for Bathurst's Stuart Inwood but come race time it was a completely different story.
Inwood soared up the standings to go from 14th to third, finishing behind Jack le Brocq and Ryan Humfrey in his Corvette C5 2000.
Prior to a yellow flag period Inwood had moved up to fourth position following a fantastic start, putting him in a great position to score a podium finish with four laps to go.
With three laps remaining the leading quartet of Le Brocq, Paul Boschert, Humfrey and Inwood had opened up a seven second break on the rest of the field to make it a four-car tussle for the podium spots.
Le Brocq skipped away at the head of the pack but an error from Boschert saw him drop back down to fourth on the penultimate lap.
Lapped cars made it difficult for Inwood to challenge Humfrey for the runner-up spot, forcing him to settle for the last podium position.
The encouraging thing from Inwood's perspective is knowing that his car has the potential to be even better in Saturday's races.
"We're really happy. I took a gamble on some older tyres through practice and qualifying and they didn't help us whatsoever," he said.
"We had a good run there. We're still chasing a vibration ... so we'll give the car a check over and see how we go tomorrow.
"Outside of that vibration everything else with the car is perfect. All our temperatures are spot on."
With a wide range of lap times the front runners had plenty of traffic to deal with, and that didn't help Inwood's cause as he tried to stay in touch with the leader.
"Most of the traffic was good. There were two particular cars that I was less than impressed with," he said.
"They were consistently blocking for three quarters of a lap, and that's just not how we race."
It was almost a double dose of success for Bathurst drivers in the race.
Brad Shiels led for half of the 10 lap event in his Fiat Coupe before he struck trouble and dropped back down the standings to finish 21st.
Race two is 7.25am.
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