Shane van Gisbergen has again shown his affinity with wet track conditions by dominating the third race of the MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge at Albert Park.
Starting ninth on the grid, Van Gisbergen cut his way to the lead by the start of the second lap.
A subsequent trip through the gravel just two corners later temporarily dropped the Tekno Holden to third.
The Kiwi’s speed saw him retake the top spot by the end of Lap 3 before charging away to a stunning 12.6s victory.
Lowndes was second ahead of Jonathon Webb, Fabian Coulthard, David Reynolds, Jason Bright, James Courtney, Will Davison, Michael Caruso and Todd Kelly.
Rain in the hour leading up to the race ensured all cars started on wet tyres.
Drizzle continued to fall for the most part before another heavy downpour on the final lap.
The use of wet tyres meant there were no compulsory pitstops in the 12 lap journey.
Much of the race’s action occurred between the four Nissan entries, with all four Altima drivers showing they were not afraid to swap paint with one another.
The intra-team battle was eventually won by Michael Caruso in ninth.
Jamie Whincup made steady progress from 25th on the grid to finish 13th, one place behind Mark Winterbottom, who lost ground with an off.
Scott McLaughlin was just 24th after his car failed to fire on the warm-up lap, necessitating a pitlane start.
Maro Engel and Garth Tander both failed to see the chequered flag due to electrical issues for the Mercedes and bent steering on the Holden.
Race 4 will take place tomorrow afternoon, with Coulthard and Bright to share the front-row based on cumulative points from the weekend so far.
See below for the Race 3 result
|1||TEKNO Team VIP||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:08.3375|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:20.9447|
|3||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:24.6820|
|4||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:29.4439|
|5||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:30.1303|
|6||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:39.1943|
|7||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:40.2042|
|8||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:40.5672|
|9||Norton 360 Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||12||27:43.3884|
|10||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||12||27:45.9803|
|11||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||12||27:49.4087|
|12||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:49.5513|
|13||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:51.7311|
|14||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:53.1915|
|15||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:55.1531|
|16||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:55.3884|
|17||Norton 360 Racing||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||12||27:57.7304|
|18||ekol Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||12||27:57.9877|
|19||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||12||28:01.4769|
|20||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||12||28:06.3132|
|21||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||12||28:07.0538|
|22||Wilson Security Racing||Jonny Reid||Ford Falcon FG||12||28:12.7951|
|23||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||12||28:13.5836|
|24||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||12||28:19.2211|
|25||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||12||28:33.2895|
|DNF||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||8||18:57.2206|
|DNF||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1||2:35.0498|