Garry Rogers Motorsport prodigy James Golding showed why the squad took a chance on him in the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series this season after he stormed to his first top five finish yesterday.
After qualifying eighth for race one, the #99 pilot moved his ex-Michael Caruso Commodore up to fifth position by the first lap of the opening race of the NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint.
But his skills were best shown when the apprentice mechanic fended off a challenging Chris Pither for the majority of the race to secure his best finish in the series yet.
It was announced last week that Pither would join the Volvo squad for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup this year - but while both are in the same 'Championship family', it didn't stop the kiwi applying pressure to the GRM young gun.
But Golding seemed unfazed, keeping his cool to hold on to his personal bestposition.
"I had to remember Chris was there, but I couldn't let it get to me too much so I didn't make a mistake," he told v8supercars.com.au.
"I just had to focus on what I was doing and not worry about him too much.
"I kept in mind he was there and kept an eye on him that he didn't try and pull any moves... I just had to do the best I could to keep him behind me."
And his performance seemed to have received the bosses approval too.
"I haven't seen Garry [Rogers, team owner] yet, but I'm sure he'll be pretty happy," Golding told v8supercars.com.au.
"He gave me a thumbs up at the end of the race, so that's good!"
A former Formula Ford racer, Golding had a tough initiation into the category this year after succumbing to Clipsal's concrete walls, but upped-the-anti at Barbagallo to finish eighth for the round.
Now sitting 14th in the series standings, Golding believes he and the GRM Dunlop Series program have made progress since their disappointing Adelaide assault to show their true competitiveness in the remaining four rounds of the season.
"I can see in myself, the car and in the whole team that we've improved," he told v8supercars.com.au.
"With each round we go to we've improved and it gives us a lot of confidence going into the next race."
Race two for the Dunlop Series at Winton kicks off today at 10.10am, ahead of race three at 12.30pm.