Paul Dumbrell eased away from the field to take a comfortable victory in the co-driver’s qualifying race at Sandown.
The Red Bull Holden, which had started from pole thanks to the earlier efforts of Jamie Whincup, lost the lead to fellow front-row starter Dale Wood off the grid.
Dumbrell regained the ascendancy with an inside move at Turn 10 on just the second lap before controlling the race to the flag.
The reigning Bathurst winner led home second placed Steve Owen by almost four seconds despite having a similar margin removed mid-race thanks to a Safety Car intervention.
Owen had cut his way from sixth on the grid to third in the opening metres, but appeared content in second once he had too cleared Wood’s Dick Johnson Ford.
Wood took third, holding off a train of cars consisting of Nick Percat, Warren Luff, Dean Canto, Steven Richards, Jack Perkins and Andrew Thompson.
While positions were largely stagnant at the front, the lack of points on offer for the Sandown sprint races this year didn’t stop a variety of incidents occurring down the order.
The action began on the second corner of the very first lap, where Paul Morris clanged into Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team-mate Matthew Halliday, turning the latter around.
A later incident between Ashley Walsh and John McIntyre at the same corner damaged the bonnet pins on the former’s Dick Johnson Racing Falcon, leading to a spectacular failure on the main straight at the Lap 14 Safety Car restart.
The full course yellow had been called after Jeroen Bleekemolen stopped the #97 Tekno Holden on the circuit with a suspected broken gearbox.
Another in trouble was Ryan Briscoe, who was turned around by Chris Pither after squeezing the Wilson Holden into Turn 10 moments prior to the Safety Car. The Supercheap Holden was eventually the last of the finishers in 23rd.
Craig Baird ran 11th going into the final corner but failed to see the chequered flag after a bumping duel with Andrew Jones led to a flat right-rear tyre and a spin for the IRWIN Mercedes.
Completing the retirements was Jonny Reid, who suffered a sticking throttle in the Tony D’Alberto Holden.
A second qualifying race, this time for the primary drivers, will set the grid for Sunday’s Sandown 500.
See below for the full Qualifying Race 1 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||20||24:44.71|
|2||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:48.32|
|3||Wilson Security Racing||Dale Wood||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:49.63|
|4||Holden Racing Team||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||20||24:50.15|
|5||Red Bull Racing Australia||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VF||20||24:51.27|
|6||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:51.62|
|7||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Steven Richards||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:51.96|
|8||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||20||24:52.39|
|9||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Andrew Thompson||Mercedes E63 AMG||20||24:52.86|
|10||Holden Racing Team||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VF||20||24:53.32|
|11||Lockwood Racing||Luke Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||20||24:58.27|
|12||SP Tools Racing||Steven Johnson||Mercedes E63 AMG||20||25:00.38|
|13||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Greg Ritter||Holden Commodore VF||20||25:00.66|
|14||Team BOC||Andrew Jones||Holden Commodore VF||20||25:01.10|
|15||Jack Daniel’s Racing||David Russell||Nissan Altima||20||25:01.30|
|16||Wilson Security Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VF||20||25:01.45|
|17||Norton 360 Racing||Taz Douglas||Nissan Altima||20||25:01.86|
|18||Dodo Insurance Racing||Matthew Halliday||Holden Commodore VF||20||25:04.80|
|19||Norton 360 Racing||Daniel Gaunt||Nissan Altima||20||25:05.57|
|20||Tekno Autosports||Marc Lieb||Holden Commodore VF||20||25:07.16|
|21||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Karl Reindler||Nissan Altima||20||25:07.52|
|22||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||John McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||20||25:28.29|
|23||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ryan Briscoe||Holden Commodore VF||20||25:53.41|
|DNF||Irwin Racing||Craig Baird||Mercedes E63 AMG||19||23:45.79|
|DNF||Wilson Security Racing||Ashley Walsh||Ford Falcon FG||13||16:42.00|
|DNF||TEKNO Team VIP||Jeroen Bleekemolen||Holden Commodore VF||10||12:02.14|
|DNF||Team HIFLEX||Jonny Reid||Holden Commodore VF||7||25:33.48|
|DNF||ekol Racing||Paul Morris||Holden Commodore VF|