Shane van Gisbergen took victory in the opening V8 Supercars race at Albert Park, streaking away from a squabbling pack in the 10 lap encounter.
The Kiwi had ducked to the inside of pole-sitter Michael Caruso to snatch the lead into Turn 1 after the double-file rolling start.
Fourth-placed qualifier Jamie Whincup made it to second by Turn 3, looking to have the fastest car over the opening laps.
A battle between Whincup and Scott McLaughlin however soon allowed Van Gisbergen to pull away, with the Tekno Holden going on to win by a commanding 6.2s.
“It was a good start and we got to the lead but we didn’t have any grip and Whincup was all over me,” said Van Gisbergen afterward.
“Then the car came on and we left them.
“We’ve tried some stuff this weekend that seems to be working but I think Volvo and Caruso were pretty quick cars so it would have been interesting to see what pace they had if they were right behind us.
“We’ll see how we go in the hotter conditions this afternoon.”
Whincup received a bad sportsmanship flag early in the second place battle having squeezed McLaughlin onto the grass on the inside of the main straight.
The Red Bull Holden eventually steadied the ship to take second from McLaughlin and Caruso.
Fabian Coulthard and Garth Tander completed the top six, with the latter taking Craig Lowndes on the penultimate lap.
Second through 11th ran in a tight pack for the entire 10 laps, although passes proved few and far between.
Further back in the pack, Mark Winterbottom drove through from 18th on the grid to finish 13th in his Ford Performance Racing Falcon.
Jason Bright was 14th having lost three places with an off at Turn 3 during the early going.
David Reynolds was the only real victim of the tight racing in the early laps, spinning at Turn 3 and rejoining to finish last.
Race 2, to be contested over 12 laps, will take place at 1425.
See below for the full Race 1 result
|1||Team TEKNO VIP Petfoods||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||10||19:48.4102|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||10||19:54.5905|
|3||Valvoline Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||10||19:55.5983|
|4||Norton Hornets||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||10||19:55.8951|
|5||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||10||19:56.4490|
|6||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||10||19:57.9238|
|7||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||10||19:59.4993|
|8||Norton Hornets||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||10||19:59.8856|
|9||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||10||20:00.3702|
|10||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||10||20:00.8776|
|11||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||10||20:01.1223|
|12||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||10||20:01.6129|
|13||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||10||20:04.5908|
|14||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||10||20:04.8231|
|15||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||10||20:09.2897|
|16||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||10||20:09.6230|
|17||Walkinshaw Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||10||20:10.9881|
|18||Valvoline Racing GRM||Robert Dahlgren||Volvo S60||10||20:11.9065|
|19||Repair Management Aust Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||10||20:14.2367|
|20||Erebus Motorsport V8||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||10||20:14.8133|
|21||Wilson Security Racing||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG||10||20:17.5196|
|22||Jeld-wen||Jack Perkins||Ford Falcon FG||10||20:19.0300|
|23||Team ADVAM / GB||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||10||20:19.3878|
|24||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Ford Falcon FG||10||20:19.6596|
|25||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||10||20:24.7287|