Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes eased their way to another one-two finish in Race 18 of the V8 Supercars Championship in Darwin.
In a repeat of the day’s opening 100km hit-out, the Red Bull duo ran first and second for the duration.
Whincup was over four seconds clear of his team-mate entering the closing stages, before taking the flag 3.4s ahead as he concentrated on saving tyres for Sunday in the closing stages.
Fabian Coulthard kept his points tally ticking along with a comfortable third in another race that was thin on overtaking at the front.
Garth Tander scored fourth for the Holden Racing Team after holding off Scott McLaughlin, Mark Winterbottom and Shane van Gisbergen.
Tim Slade, David Reynolds and Michael Caruso completed the top 10, with James Courtney 11th after falling off the road in the early stages while running fifth.
Winterbottom’s race fell apart at the start, dropping from fourth to eighth as a bad launch was compounded in the push and shove of the opening corners.
Jason Bright was 12th after a mistake dropped him from the top 10 in the closing stages.
Will Davison salvaged 13th for Erebus Motorsport in a race that saw team-mate Lee Holdsworth retire with power steering problems – the same issue that had beset Davison in Race 17.
The issues ensure that both Mercedes-AMGs will have a set of relatively fresh hard compound tyres to use tomorrow, when most are expected to re-use four of their eight Saturday tyres.
Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly and Russell Ingall elected to use their Race 17 tyres in Race 18 in order to save a complete fresh set for Sunday.
The strategy ensured that all three ran at the back of the field, with both Jack Daniel’s Nissans eventually finishing a lap down.
Fellow Nissan driver James Moffat failed to complete a lap after his Altima suffered steering damage in the opening corners.
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:26.11|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:29.51|
|3||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:31.97|
|4||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:37.62|
|5||Valvoline Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||35||42:39.02|
|6||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||35||42:39.37|
|7||Team Tekno VIP Petfoods||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:39.80|
|8||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:41.59|
|9||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||35||42:42.54|
|10||Norton Hornets||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||35||42:44.60|
|11||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:46.47|
|12||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:49.17|
|13||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||35||42:49.72|
|14||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||35||42:50.84|
|15||Wilson Security Racing||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG||35||42:51.22|
|16||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Ford Falcon FG||35||42:56.25|
|17||Team Advam/GB||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||35||42:58.50|
|18||Valvoline Racing GRM||Robert Dahlgren||Volvo S60||35||42:58.89|
|19||Walkinshaw Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||35||43:01.46|
|20||Team JELD-WEN||Jack Perkins||Ford Falcon FG||35||43:09.89|
|21||Repair Management Aust Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||35||43:29.99|
|22||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||34||42:27.36|
|23||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||34||43:15.04|
|DNF||Erebus Motorsport V8||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||8||09:55.76|
|DNF||Norton Hornets||James Moffat||Nissan Altima|
Championship points after Race 18
|6||Shane Van Gisbergen||973|