SWANSEA team SVG Racing were denied a stunning possible podium finish at Brands Hatch by mechanical failure.
The outfit were on top form in the first round of the UK Sports 2000 Endurance Championship.
But their hopes of a top-three finish were denied when a rear wheel gave way.
British champion Anthony Wilds and international driver Tim Matthews had to start at the back of the grid as mechanical issues disrupted their qualification.
But by lap three Wilds had already carved his way through to 15th. Three more spectacular moves saw him go 12th and by the time he pitted for the compulsory stop and driver change, SVG Racing were sensationally up to third overall.
Although a couple of places were lost on the change, Matthews saw his lap times improve and by lap 33 he had regained two lost places and was chasing down the three leaders.
By lap 42 the third-placed car was in sight but handling was becoming a problem. As he crossed the finish line at more than 140mph and turned into the corner at the top of Paddock Hill, the car suddenly lost all grip on the rear and went sideways.
A rear wheel had given way and Matthews had no option but to park on the side of the track.
Despite losing 12 laps to the leader, at the end the team were still credited with 17th overall and third in class.
Matthews said: "It was disappointing not to finish but we found out just how quick a car we can prepare and just how quick Anthony can drive.
"We made a strong team and I'm sure we can still get into the overall top three by the end of the year."