Richard Hawken was left beaming from ear to ear after completing his first laps in the second Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50.
Taking to track for the first time this season in free practice one at Donington Park, the Walton-on-Thames racer completed nine laps in total, ending the session in 27th.
Despite the car only being finished during the early hours of Friday morning, Hawken was buoyed by his maiden voyage behind the wheel.
Hawken told BTCC Crazy: “It was great and when I left the pit lane, I finally felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders because we had finally made it.
“Other than a few tidy set up issues, the car worked brilliantly and every ounce of praise must go to the whole team who have worked tirelessly to ensure we could be on the grid.
“That first session was all about ensuring everything worked well and also bedding in tyres, as the day progresses we will continue to move forward.”
Looking ahead to the second practice session, Hawken is relishing the opportunity to begin progressively increasing the intensity and setting some ‘hot’ laps.
“I’ve got one more set of tyres to scrub in and then I will bolt the first set I ran back on the car to set some competitive lap times,” he explained.
“We just need to find the right balance and figure out how to get on top of the power steering. Once we do that we will be well away and can show everyone what we are capable of.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there though, that was one of the best experiences ever, I can’t stop smiling.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography