After waiting 227 races to score a maiden V8 Supercars race win, Tim Slade wasted no time in taking his second victory.
The Brad Jones Racing driver beat Prodrive’s Mark Winterbottom to the win in a battle of speed and pit strategy in Winton’s 200km Race 11.
Before the strategy shuffle unfolded, Fabian Coulthard had won the start from pole-sitter Chaz Mostert, Craig Lowndes and Slade.
Mostert and Lowndes were among those to pit for fuel in the early laps, leaving Coulthard and Slade to duke it out at the front.
Slade managed to leap-frog the DJR Team Penske Ford when the duo eventually stopped together moments prior a Safety Car on lap 19 of 67.
The yellows, which were called to retrieve Lee Holdsworth’s stranded Holden, split the field in two, with half committing to three stop strategies by electing to dive into the pits for fuel.
Making quick work of a short-fuelled Rick Kelly on the restart, Slade subsequently set about building a margin over the field.
Winterbottom meanwhile led the charge of those committing to three stops, making his final trip to the lane just three laps after the restart.
Slade’s superior speed in the middle phase of the race eventually allowed him to pit and rejoin 1.5s clear of Winterbottom with 27 laps to go.
The Holden’s fresher tyres ensured it was never threatened for the remainder, eventually cruising to a 6.8s victory.
Coulthard waited another three laps after Slade before making his last stop and initially dropped into a net fifth before quickly climbing to third.
The Kiwi spent the closing laps on the tail of Winterbottom, who impressively held the position despite his significantly older tyres.
Shane van Gisbergen and Cameron Waters converted sixth row grid slots into fourth and fifth respectively by following Winterbottom’s three-stop strategy.
Sixth through 10th were filled by David Reynolds (2), Scott Pye (3 stops), Craig Lowndes (3), Jamie Whincup (2) and Michael Caruso (3).
Lowndes appeared strongly positioned early but was forced to soldier to the finish with a broken header on his Holden.
Mostert’s pole meanwhile yielded just 20th after a costly mid-race clash with James Courtney.
The Supercheap Ford took the Safety Car restart at the back after pitting twice for fuel, subsequently puncturing a tyre when clouting the HRT entry on the way back through the field.
With Scott McLaughlin managing no better than 11th, the results see Winterbottom move to the head of the standings, 27 points clear of the Volvo driver.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Woodstock Winton Super Sprint Race 11
|1||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:33:49.3933|
|2||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:33:56.0736|
|3||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:33:56.7507|
|4||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:03.4779|
|5||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:34:07.5390|
|6||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:09.5289|
|7||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:34:10.8442|
|8||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:13.1709|
|9||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:15.2791|
|10||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||67||01:34:19.6292|
|11||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||67||01:34:21.0291|
|12||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:21.4949|
|13||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||67||01:34:25.0083|
|14||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||67||01:34:30.1610|
|15||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||67||01:34:30.7109|
|16||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:31.4208|
|17||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:35.3140|
|18||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:34:36.6833|
|19||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||67||01:34:40.3248|
|20||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:34:41.4778|
|21||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:34:45.3003|
|22||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||64||01:34:27.7489|
|23||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||60||01:34:48.5622|
|24||Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||59||01:34:24.2920|
|25||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||53||01:34:32.2342|
|DNF||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||17||23:56.0004|
|5||Shane Van Gisbergen||997|