Ash Walsh cemented his favouritism for the 2014 Dunlop Series title by taking a controlled victory in the opening race in Adelaide.
The Matt Stone Racing Ford out-dragged pole-sitter Cameron Waters to the first corner before quickly edging away to a two second lead.
While Waters gradually closed in prior to the Safety Car being called with five laps remaining, Walsh was able to control the race to the flag after the restart.
Waters lost second place to a charging Paul Dumbrell in a sprint to the finish line, but remained classified in the runner-up spot.
The race had officially finished after the time cut-off at the end of 24 laps of the scheduled 27 laps.
The chequered flag, however, was erroneously not displayed until an extra circuit had been completed at racing speed.
An investigation into a possible jump-start from Walsh had further added to the confusion, although officials deemed that the Queenslander had no case to answer.
Dumbrell had been forced to charge through the pack after dropping to sixth in an opening lap squeeze with Taz Douglas and Chris Pither.
It took nine laps for the Eggleston Holden to clear Pither, after which the ex-Triple Eight machine made short work of Andre Heimgartner, Douglas and, seemingly, Waters.
Douglas and Pither were fourth and fifth respectively at the finish ahead of Heimgartner.
The Finance Ezi Ford had run as high as third early but did not have the pace to sustain it.
Paul Morris received a bad sportsmanship flag for excessive kerb hopping at Turn 2 on the way to seventh.
South Australian Jay Verdnik made an impressive return to the Dunlop Series in eighth ahead of Andrew Jones and Aaren Russell.
The late Safety Car had been called for a single-car incident at the Senna Chicane that saw Jim Pollicina make contact with the wall on the right-side of Turn 3.
It was meanwhile a horror race for expected front-runner Ant Pedersen, who finished 22nd after being forced to pit early for a rubbing left-rear guard.
Jack Le Brocq was another to strike problems, retiring after just two laps with a driveline issue.
A second round of Dunlop Series qualifying and Race 2 will complete the opening round of the season tomorrow.
See below for full Dunlop Series Race 1 result
|1||Infants Friend||Ashley Walsh||Ford Falcon FG||35:53.4211||1:22.6181r|
|2||TEAM ENZED FPR||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG||35:54.2478||1:22.4929R|
|3||Eggleston MS/Wilson Security||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VE2||35:54.6035||1:22.9143|
|4||Image Racing||Taz Douglas||Ford Falcon FG||35:57.7761||1:23.0485|
|5||Icebreak Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VE2||35:58.3225||1:23.3693|
|6||Finance Ezi||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG||36:00.1819||1:23.0664|
|7||Sargent Security Racing||Paul Morris||Ford Falcon FG||36:00.9705||1:23.3062|
|8||THR Motorsports/S.A. Racing||Jay Verdnik||Holden Commodore VE2||36:01.6916||1:23.8425|
|9||Team Advam||Andrew Jones||Holden Commodore VE2||36:03.2476||1:23.4846|
|10||Go Karts Go||Aaren Russell||Ford Falcon FG||36:04.1033||1:23.8891|
|11||Eggleston MS/Wilson Security||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore VE2||36:04.3366||1:23.5681|
|12||Matt Stone Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Ford Falcon FG||36:04.9373||1:23.9183|
|13||Action Racing||Marcus Zukanovic||Ford Falcon fg||36:06.4516||1:23.7076|
|14||R&J Batteries||Geoff Emery||Holden Commodore VE2||36:09.1788||1:23.9908|
|15||Pacific Hoists/Halda Race Pilo||Fredrik Lestrup||Ford Falocon FG||36:09.5554||1:24.4660|
|16||Miraflores Estate/Haber Excava||Morgan Haber||Ford Falcon FG||36:09.9808||1:23.6753|
|17||THR Motorsports/S.A. Racing||Jordan Ormsby||Holden Commodore VE2||36:11.0712||1:25.3578|
|18||Parramatta Smash Repairs||Ryan Simpson||Ford Falcon FG||36:11.3492||1:24.0565|
|19||Warrin Mining Volvo Constructi||Adam Wallis||Holden Commodore VE2||36:11.9071||1:25.5141|
|20||Forpark/Aust Custom Moulders||Matt Hansen||Holden Commodore VE2||36:12.2296||1:25.3702|
|21||Dreamland Bedding||Dan Day||Holden Commodore VE2||36:07.5585||1:25.1884|
|22||Eggleston MS/Wilson Security||Ant Pedersen||Holden Commodore VE2||36:10.4563||1:23.4756|
|23||Gulf Western Oil||Michael Hector||Ford Falcon FG||36:10.7536||1:25.8953|
|24||Formula Tech/Interquip Racing||Brett Stewart||Holden Commodore VE2||36:12.7488||1:27.2950|
|25||McGill Motorsport||Aaron McGill||Holden Commodore VE2||36:17.9725||1:27.1970|
|DNF||Poll Performance||Jim Pollicina||Ford Falcon FG||26:18.8084||1:25.6360|
|DNF||Alphabet||Josh Kean||Holden Commodore VE2||16:03.9754||1:25.0115|
|DNF||Volight Contracting||Aaron Tebb||Holden Commodore VE2||16:37.0237||1:26.6800|
|DNF||Image Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Falcon FG||3:05.5196||1:28.8732|
|DNF||Worlds Best Technology/Castrol||Josh Hunter||Holden Commodore VE2||1:38.2265||1:38.2265|
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