Matt Parry produced one of the finest drives of his maiden GP3 Series season - claiming a podium finish at the Bahrain International Circuit.
And his success was even sweeter as he began in 11th place on the grid, at a venue where he had never raced before.
Parry had already shown his pace as the series resumed after another long late-season break, taking second spot in free practice last Thursday, but was denied a repeat performance in qualifying as a fuel cell issue slowed his Koiranen GP entry before he could complete a second run, restricting him to an unrepresentative 18th on the grid for race one.
Determined to show that his grid position was not indicative of his potential, Parry produced a feisty effort to climb to 11th position.
The result came despite the Bury racer picking up damage to his front wing in a typical skirmish in the opening lap.
With the desert sun beating down on the Sakhir venue ahead of race two on Saturday morning, the 21-year-old made an aggressive start to immediately pick up three places, and wasted no time in moving up another position, to seventh, on the opening lap.
Although his progress was interrupted by a red flag, which halted the race to clear up an accident deeper in the field, Parry was straight back on the attack at the restart, claiming two victims in as many laps before hunting down Emil Bernstorff and making the pass for fourth place on lap eight.
Two laps later, Parry accounted for former Formula Renault team-mate Alfonso Celis Jr with a robust move that elevated the Koiranen car into a podium position and, from there, he pulled clear of the chasing pack to finish third, behind only title contenders Luca Ghiotto and Esteban Ocon.
“The car was great again, but a big key to the race was avoiding the chaos at the start and putting myself in a position to attack,” Parry explained.
“I was aggressive into turn one and that helped me pick up three places and jump into the points straight away.”
The result lifts Parry back into eighth position in the drivers’ championship with just the final double-header remaining on the 2015 schedule.
The ninth and final round takes place at the spectacular Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
There will be full coverage on the Sky Sports F1 channel between November 27-19.