Chaz Mostert overcame his start line demons to record a commanding victory in the 200km feature race at Queensland Raceway.
Pole-sitter Mostert managed to out-gun team-mate Mark Winterbottom to the first corner and was not headed outside of the pitstop cycles for the duration.
Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom completed the podium, with the former having taken the position in the first of the two pitstops.
Soft-hard-soft tyre strategies were again the order of the day in the 200km contest, with short first stints on the softer rubber ensuring drivers could run in excess of 30 laps in the final stint.
Mostert was among the most conservative on strategy, proving among the first of the front runners to take off the soft tyres and the last to put them back on.
He emerged from his second stop two seconds ahead of Lowndes and, with marginally newer tyres, was able to edge away to a 5.6s victory.
“The boys changed the clutch overnight and it felt pretty good off the start line,” smiled Mostert post-race. “Finally I got away without hesitating.”
“It’s the best we could have done this weekend,” added Lowndes. “Prodrive still have the cars to beat and the strategy got us to where we were.”
David Reynolds drove solidly to fourth ahead of Holden Racing Team drivers Garth Tander and James Courtney, who gained track position through the stops after poor qualifying performances.
Will Davison took seventh for Erebus Motorsport after overcoming Jamie Whincup in the closing stages.
Whincup ran as high as third in the early going before yielding to his faster team-mate Lowndes.
Dropping outside the top 10 when he was long fuelled at his first stop, a rattle gun issue during the second stop further hurt the six-time champion’s progress.
Fellow title contender Fabian Coulthard failed to make ground from a difficult qualifying, finishing 14th, while Shane van Gisbergen had an even worse day, coming home 21st.
Todd Kelly was the race’s only retirement, dropping out of 16th place when his engine lost oil pressure with just over three laps to go.
Result: V8 Supercars Race 20, Queensland Raceway
|1||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||65||01:19:14.8200|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:20.4325|
|3||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||65||01:19:25.8410|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||65||01:19:33.1510|
|5||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:34.7119|
|6||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:40.5886|
|7||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||65||01:19:40.8268|
|8||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:45.2831|
|9||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:45.6169|
|10||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||65||01:19:46.1678|
|11||Repair Management Aust Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:50.6481|
|12||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||65||01:19:50.9331|
|13||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||65||01:19:53.9235|
|14||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:19:54.3151|
|15||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||65||01:19:56.5813|
|16||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG/X||65||01:19:57.5822|
|17||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||65||01:20:02.7578|
|18||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:20:03.0188|
|19||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:20:08.0394|
|20||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||65||01:20:08.3557|
|21||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||65||01:20:26.8385|
|22||Erebus Motorsport V8||Ashley Walsh||Mercedes E63 AMG||64||01:19:16.2085|
|23||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||64||01:19:28.3845|
|24||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||64||01:19:57.1226|
|DNF||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||61||01:15:04.6855|
|9||Shane van Gisbergen||1165|