David Reynolds profited from late misfortune for James Courtney to take a breakthrough maiden V8 Supercars race victory in the Sunday finale at Surfers Paradise.
Reynolds, in his 122nd start, was left to cruise to victory after leader Courtney suffered a steering failure with 15 laps remaining.
The Reynolds/Dean Canto and Courtney/Greg Murphy cars had been the leading duo for much of the race, with Murphy overtaking Canto before handing over to the primary drivers.
Fabian Coulthard brought the Lockwood Holden home in second ahead of Russell Ingall, Jamie Whincup, Lee Holdsworth, Rick Kelly, Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes, Will Davison and Michael Caruso.
The results see Lowndes and co-driver Warren Luff win the inaugural Pirtek Enduro Cup, while Lowndes now holds a reduced six point lead in the championship standings.
Pole-sitter Reynolds and fifth-placed qualifier Courtney had been two of just five primary drivers to start the race, subsequently handing over to their co-drivers under a Lap 21 Safety Car.
That first yellow saw the field splinter into two distinct pit strategies; with Red Bull among several teams electing not to pit until the mandatory co-driver minimum was reached on Lap 34.
The strategies abruptly converged on Lap 54 when a second Safety Car appeared just as the final stops had begun.
Courtney led Reynolds, Ingall, Coulthard and Whincup at the restart, and appeared to have the field’s measure until the HRT Commodore’s steering could take no more of the circuit’s harsh kerbing.
Coulthard muscled his way around Ingall as Courtney’s drama unfolded, closing marginally on the leader in the final laps to cross the line just over a second adrift.
Seven seconds covered second through 11th at the flag. Among the pack was Craig Lowndes, who had taken the restart just 16th after being forced to double-stack behind Whincup’s car in the pits.
One man not part of the late battle was Mark Winterbottom, whose FPR Falcon lost two laps early with damaged rear suspension.
James Moffat, whose car had started on the front-row in the hands of Taz Douglas, appeared set for a sixth placed finish until a mistake saw his Altima’s front-right corner destroyed.
Team-mate David Russell had a much earlier shower after an engine failure, while the Van Gisbergen/Bleekemolen and Pye/Morris Holdens were also on the retirements list after a collision.
Van Gisbergen had found himself an innocent party in the clash; running into the rear of Pye’s Holden after the first-year driver understeered into the tyres at Turn 3
That incident caused the second Safety Car, with the first having been the result of more electrical problems for Scott McLaughlin.
The V8 Supercars Championship continues at Phillip Island on November 22-24.
See below for the full Race 31 result
|1||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||D.Reynolds/D.Canto||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:09:31.08|
|2||Lockwood Racing||F.Coulthard/L.Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:09:32.27|
|3||Supercheap Auto Racing||R.Ingall/R.Briscoe||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:09:32.88|
|4||Red Bull Racing Australia||J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:09:33.57|
|5||Irwin Racing||L.Holdsworth/C.Baird||Mercedes E63 AMG||102||02:09:34.00|
|6||Jack Daniel’s Racing||R.Kelly/K.Reindler||Nissan Altima||102||02:09:34.56|
|7||Holden Racing Team||G.Tander/N.Percat||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:09:34.87|
|8||Red Bull Racing Australia||C.Lowndes/W.Luff||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:09:35.50|
|9||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||W.Davison/S.Owen||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:09:37.17|
|10||Norton Hornets||M.Caruso/D.Gaunt||Nissan Altima||102||02:09:37.81|
|11||Wilson Security Racing||C.Mostert/D.Wood||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:09:39.21|
|12||Wilson Security Racing||D.Wall/C.Pither||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:09:56.63|
|13||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||A.Davison/J.McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:09:56.94|
|14||Fujitsu Racing GRM||A.Premat/G.Ritter||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:10:06.63|
|15||Team BOC||J.Bright/A.Jones||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:10:14.68|
|16||Wilson Security Racing||T.Blanchard/A.Walsh||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:10:15.82|
|17||TEKNO Team Darrell Lea||J.Webb/M.Lieb||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:10:35.09|
|18||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||M.Winterbottom/S.Richards||Ford Falcon FG||101||02:10:32.00|
|19||Dodo Insurance Racing||D.Fiore/M.Halliday||Holden Commodore VF||101||02:10:35.98|
|20||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||T.Slade/D.Brabham||Mercedes E63 AMG||99||02:10:16.16|
|21||Team HIFLEX||T.D’Alberto/J.Reid||Holden Commodore VF||99||02:10:26.36|
|22||SP Tools Racing||M.Engel/S.Johnson||Mercedes E63 AMG||97||02:09:45.62|
|23||Fujitsu Racing GRM||S.McLaughlin/J.Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||92||02:10:36.82|
|DNF||Norton Hornets||J.Moffat/T.Douglas||Nissan Altima||88||01:53:35.50|
|DNF||Holden Racing Team||J.Courtney/G.Murphy||Holden Commodore VF||86||01:50:58.74|
|DNF||Hogs Breath Cafe Racing||S.Pye/P.Morris||Holden Commodore VF||64||01:22:40.21|
|DNF||TEKNO Team VIP Petfoods||S.Van Gisbergen/J.Bleekemolen||Holden Commodore VF||63||01:19:04.97|
|DNF||Jack Daniel’s Racing||David Russell||Nissan Altima||27||34:46.01|
See below for the updated points standings
|7||Shane Van Gisbergen||2052|