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 +10.475s 10. James Moffat Nissan +15.879s 11. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +17.378s 12. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +20.368s 13. Rick Kelly Nissan +20.947s 14. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +22.436s 15. Todd Kelly Nissan +23.390s 16. Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford +23.930s 17. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +23.998s 18. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +24.952s 19. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +26.700s 20. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden +27.146s 21. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden +27.453s 22. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden +29.122s 23. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford +31.398s 24. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +1 laps 25. Michael Caruso Nissan +2 laps 26. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +2 laps Retirements: David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 39 laps Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes 21 laps