Debuting in the Australian F3 Championship round at Phillip Island, Christchurch's Andy Knight recovered from a fraught weekend to finish 5th in the second.
The 20-year old was on the pace in early practise, but fifth place was a good reward, after electrical teething problems with the teams new Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304 lost him valuable track-time as he came to grips with Formula 3.
The gremlins, which also forced Knight out of Race 1, were rectified for the second and final race of the weekend. From 12th on the grid, Knight charged up to seventh on the opening lap, and picked up another pair of positions on the following tour.
He continued to improve his laptimes across the remainder of the race, eventually ending with the third fastest lap of the race, 1:28.2489.
“It's great to finish a race and finish where we did, after the problems we had,” he said. "We missed out on so much running with this car this weekend, so the car wasn’t as good as it could have been, but we had new tyres for Race 2 which was an advantage.
"I could have closed the gap and tried to pass Michael but there wasn't really any need to risk a crash between the two cars.”
The late decision to run at Phillip Island resulted in a worthwhile learning experience for the 20 year-old, who has open-wheel experience in New Zealand, Australia and America.
"I learnt a lot about the cars and how to drive them,” Knight said. “The races were about pushing hard, and learning what the car feels like when you are running close to someone else."
"Now we have the new car problems sorted we can go to Queensland and really try for a result," added Knight, who intends to contest the penultimate round of the 2006 season will be held at Queensland Raceway on September 2-3.