Craig Lowndes moved to second in the V8 Supercars Championship with victory in the opening sprint race at Phillip Island.
The #888 Red Bull Holden shot from third on the grid to the lead with a blistering start and was not headed for the remainder of the 14 laps.
Pole-sitter Jamie Whincup slotted into second at Turn 1 and shadowed his team-mate for the duration.
Scott McLaughlin completed the podium, taking the flag just 0.7s adrift of Whincup.
“We had to get a good start because we knew Scotty and Jamie were going to be fast,” said Lowndes of his 10th career win at the Island.
“I was thankful it was Jamie behind me because he had a bit of pace in the middle of that race.”
“Both cars are rockets,” added Whincup.
“Lowndesy got a good start, led into Turn 1 and I was just protecting from there on in.”
Shane van Gisbergen came home fourth but will be the subject of a post-race investigation after spectacularly spinning David Reynolds on the second lap.
The Bottle-O Ford rotated on the entry to the high-speed Hayshed after a push from the Kiwi’s Tekno Commodore.
Reynolds had earlier shuffled Van Gisbergen wide through the opening turn of the race, forcing his rival momentarily into the grass.
Rejoining from his spin to finish last, the incident appears to have ended any hopes that Reynolds would score a come-from-behind championship victory.
Points leader Mark Winterbottom dropped from fifth to eighth with a conservative run through the opening corners before benefiting from Reynolds’ demise to take seventh.
James Moffat and James Courtney both overtook Winterbottom on the opening lap to finish fifth and sixth respectively.
Garth Tander, Cameron Waters and Tim Slade completed the top 10, with the Supercheap Holden having fought off a train of cars in order to hold its place.
Todd Kelly tried hard but failed to find a way by, saving a major moment when the cars made side-to-side contact at the Hayshed on the way to 11th.
Scott Pye and Rick Kelly were among the race’s biggest losers, finishing 13th and 17th respectively after both running across the grass at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
A second 14 lap sprint will complete the day’s V8 Supercars action later this afternoon.
Result: V8 Supercars WD-40 Phillip Island Super Sprint Race 31
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||14||21:50.8798|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||14||21:51.9186|
|3||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||14||21:52.6794|
|4||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||14||21:59.9024|
|5||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||14||22:00.1632|
|6||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:02.3644|
|7||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||14||22:04.2839|
|8||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:06.3351|
|9||Pepsi Max Crew||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||14||22:08.2895|
|10||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:12.8539|
|11||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||14||22:13.0211|
|12||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:13.3390|
|13||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||14||22:14.1110|
|14||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:14.8437|
|15||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||14||22:15.3099|
|16||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:16.0385|
|17||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||14||22:17.4022|
|18||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:17.8050|
|19||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||14||22:17.9928|
|20||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:20.6322|
|21||Repair Management Aust Racing||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||14||22:24.1054|
|22||Erebus Motorsport V8||Dean Canto||Mercedes E63 AMG||14||22:24.4961|
|23||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||14||22:24.8012|
|24||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||14||22:25.3376|
|25||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||14||22:31.8571|