Jamie Whincup further extended his points tally by claiming the first V8 Supercars race of the weekend at Ipswich’s Queensland Raceway.
The championship leader made a quick getaway from pole before the biggest talking point of the race occurred behind him.
Going into Turn 3 for the first time, Triple 8 teammate Craig Lowndes had been on a charge from fifth on the grid and pulled off what appeared to be an overly aggressive move on third-placed Mark Winterbottom.
Lowndes looked poised to displace the FPR Ford driver, but he ran too hot into the corner and nudged Winterbottom into an unsuspecting Fabian Coulthard, who was punted off the circuit and lost several positions. The incident is under investigation.
The head of the field ran line astern up to the half-time interval, with Whincup and Scott McLaughlin maintaining their starting positions, and Lowndes and Winterbottom third and fourth respectively.
The front-runners slotted back into their positions after the mid-race restart, but this time around Whincup was forced to hold off a charging McLaughlin who harassed the race-leader until the checkered flag, the gap between the pair never more than a second.
After several unsuccessful attempts, Winterbottom finally managed to exchange places with Lowndes on lap 27 to take the final podium position.
James Courtney crossed the line fifth after a fairly muted race, followed by Will Davison and Jason Bright.
Garth Tander filtered his way from 19th on the grid to claim eighth, while Coulthard could not make similar progress through the pack and was mired in the midfield after the first-lap incident. He finished 11th.
Results - 40 laps:Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden 1h12m39.942s 2. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden +0.565s 3. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +0.821s 4. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden +1.132s 5. James Courtney HRT Holden +2.145s 6. Will Davison FPR Ford +3.030s 7. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +5.645s 8. Garth Tander HRT Holden +8.919s 9. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +10.475s10. James Moffat Nissan +15.879s11. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +17.378s12. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +20.368s13. Rick Kelly Nissan +20.947s14. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +22.436s15. Todd Kelly Nissan +23.390s16. Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford +23.930s17. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +23.998s18. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +24.952s19. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +26.700s20. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden +27.146s21. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden +27.453s22. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden +29.122s23. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford +31.398s24. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +1 laps25. Michael Caruso Nissan +2 laps26. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +2 lapsRetirements: David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 39 laps Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes 21 laps