Chaz Mostert scored his second win in as many days with a masterful drive in wet conditions at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Mostert led home Brad Jones Racing duo Fabian Coulthard and Jason Bright at the end of an eventful race, with Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin completing the top five.
Both Bright and Van Gisbergen ended the race under a cloud after a late lunge from the Kiwi spun the Team BOC Holden driver, who subsequently cut out the whole southern section of the circuit to regain his position.
The race was a tale of two major twists; a Safety Car on the second lap that sent the majority of the field to pitlane for their first stops and later an onset of rain as the second stops were unfolding, which coincided with a second full course yellow.
Mostert had held third behind McLaughlin and David Reynolds on the opening lap before jumping both in the stop under yellows.
Marginally short-filled compared to team-mate Reynolds, Mostert was able to eek out enough of a margin during the middle stint to hold the advantage when he pitted as the heavens opened on lap 24 of 52.
The Pepsi Max Ford controlled the remainder of the race until it reached its time cut-off two laps early, managing his wet tyres on the drying surface to score a 7.6s victory.
“We pitted at the right times and the car was good in the rain, so it was a good day for us,” smiled Mostert post-race.
Coulthard took team-mate Bright for second with little over 10 minutes remaining to back up his own podium from Saturday.
The two BJR Holdens had been among those to charge through the field in the middle stint after, by contrast to the likes of Mostert and Reynolds, sticking with soft tyres during the lap two pitstops.
Bright then carved through from seventh to second in just two laps at the start of the wet final stint, before his pace faded in the closing stages.
Typically, van Gisbergen also charged in the wet, making his way through from 15th to sixth in just four laps, before climbing further still to his eventual fourth.
Pole-sitter McLaughlin didn’t quite have the pace in wet or dry conditions to end up fifth.
Reynolds drifted to sixth in the wet stint, while Michael Caruso, Tim Slade, Nick Percat and Craig Lowndes completed the top 10.
The two Safety Cars were caused by opening lap contact between David Wall and Todd Kelly and later an off from Dale Wood and Andre Heimgartner as the rain fell.
Starting 12th, championship leader Mark Winterbottom could manage no better than 16th after being mired in the mid-field all race.
Race 22 winner Jamie Whincup was just two places further ahead after a torrid race that included minor contact with a number of rivals.
Among them was James Moffat, who battled on seven cylinders until eventually falling foul of a terminal engine problem to record the race’s only retirement.
Jack Perkins and Ash Walsh pitted on the very first lap and benefitted greatly from the subsequent Safety Car to vault into the top five.
The duo eventually finished 11th and 21st respectively, with Walsh penalised for an infringement on the second restart.
Result: V8 Supercars Race 23, Sydney Motorsport Park
|1||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||50||01:28:29.5694|
|2||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:28:37.2262|
|3||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:28:42.9343|
|4||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:28:44.5333|
|5||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||50||01:28:46.0787|
|6||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||50||01:28:50.4867|
|7||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||50||01:28:50.6981|
|8||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:28:53.2189|
|9||Repair Management Aust Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:28:56.7688|
|10||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:28:57.8814|
|11||Holden Racing Team||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:29:00.0673|
|12||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:29:00.8497|
|13||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:29:09.2096|
|14||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:29:09.8305|
|15||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||50||01:29:12.1551|
|16||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||50||01:29:12.2923|
|17||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||50||01:29:15.5190|
|18||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||50||01:29:21.8428|
|19||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG/X||50||01:29:32.0524|
|20||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||50||01:29:42.9842|
|21||Erebus Motorsport V8||Ashley Walsh||Mercedes E63 AMG||50||01:29:58.1975|
|22||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||48||01:29:13.1851|
|23||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||44||01:29:58.9104|
|24||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||40||01:29:44.8481|
|DNF||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||42||01:15:51.0826|
|9||Shane van Gisbergen||1362|