Chaz Mostert out-gunned team-mate Mark Winterbottom from the front-row of the grid to take victory in the opening race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Eager to make amends for a series of poor starts that have proven costly during the season to date, Mostert made what team principal Tim Edwards admitted appeared a ‘borderline’ getaway as he jumped with the lights.
Even so, the two Pepsi Max Falcons ran side-by-side through the Turn 1 sweeper before Mostert pulled ahead for good at the second corner.
The youngster sprinted to an early two second lead before cruising home 1.6s ahead at the end of the 16 laps.
“It was good to get a good start and stay up the front,” said Mostert post-race.
“We’re consistent at the moment and we’re just trying to stay there.”
Although no official investigation took place, Winterbottom also noted that Mostert had been the first to go at the green.
“He went then he stopped at the start and then he went again,” Winterbottom recounted.
“There was not much in it but he had just a bit more pace. When you’re second you’ve still got to be happy.”
Third placed Jamie Whincup was a full 6.8s adrift of the win as Prodrive again proved to have the dominant package.
Whincup, however, was able to ease away from the third Prodrive entry of David Reynolds, who was left to fend off Craig Lowndes for fourth.
The result marked Whincup’s first podium since Race 8 of the season at Barbagallo in May.
While the first five finished as they started, Rick Kelly managed to jump two places off the line from eighth.
The Jack Daniel’s Nissan ultimately held off Andre Heimgartner’s Ford by 0.047s, forcing the Falcon towards the pitwall as they dashed for the flag.
Scott McLaughlin, Scott Pye and Jason Bright rounded out the top 10 in a largely pedestrian 60km sprint.
Further back, Garth Tander charged from last to 18th on the opening lap, but could make no further progress.
Jack Perkins trailed his team-mate for the duration to finish 19th.
Contact between Nick Percat and Dale Wood at Turn 7 in the early stages that spun the latter’s Commodore will meanwhile be the subject of a post-race investigation.
Percat had dived down the inside of the BJR Holden, but found the door firmly closed as Wood turned in.
Faring even worse was Ash Walsh, who quickly dropped from 13th on the grid to last with a steering problem.
The day’s second sprint race will get underway at 1635 local time.
Result: V8 Supercars Race 21, Sydney Motorsport Park
|1||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||16||24:49.1655|
|2||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||16||24:50.7942|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||16||24:55.9690|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||16||24:59.4724|
|5||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:00.5589|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||16||25:05.0149|
|7||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG/X||16||25:05.0615|
|8||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||16||25:05.6523|
|9||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||16||25:06.2312|
|10||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:06.5371|
|11||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:09.2464|
|12||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||16||25:09.8370|
|13||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||16||25:10.2473|
|14||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:10.7408|
|15||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:12.4761|
|16||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||16||25:13.0449|
|17||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||16||25:15.6127|
|18||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:15.7773|
|19||Holden Racing Team||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:17.1056|
|20||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:17.9390|
|21||Repair Management Aust Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:18.2336|
|22||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||16||25:23.4649|
|23||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:24.1898|
|24||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||16||25:24.7908|
|25||Erebus Motorsport V8||Ashley Walsh||Mercedes E63 AMG||16||26:12.2540|