Will Davison led a Ford Performance Racing one-two in the first Townsville V8 Supercars race after a late pursuit of Craig Lowndes.
Triple 8 had struggled in qualifying on hard tyres, with Lowndes only 12th on the grid and his championship-leading teammate Jamie Whincup back in 16th. It therefore gambled on putting Lowndes on soft tires for the first stint, making him unique in the field.
Davison stormed through to first within 10 laps, and by the half-distance pit stops his lead was 21 seconds. At that stage his main rival was Shane van Gisbergen. The Tekno driver had taken pole, lost out to Davison off the line, then dived back past the Ford in a final-corner move that let Fabian Coulthard through as well.
Davison soon repassed the Brad Jones Holden, but van Gisbergen inched away. Then it all fell apart at the Tekno pit stop. Van Gisbergen was accidentally short-fueled and also incurred a penalty for coming off the jacks with the fuel hose still attached. A likely win became a 17th-place finish.
Davison and teammate Mark Winterbottom therefore led the chase of Lowndes, now the only man on hards. The leader’s big cushion soon fell away, with Davison taking the lead 13 laps from the end and Winterbottom soon following.
Coulthard had lost out to Winterbottom when the FPR car took softs a few laps early, but passed Lowndes to claim the final podium spot.
Lowndes hung on ahead of Jason Bright and James Courtney to retain fourth. Whincup fought through to seventh.
Results - 70 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Will Davison FPR Ford 1h28m39.5967s 2. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +4.0098s 3. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +15.4676s 4. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden +17.7900s 5. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +19.3146s 6. James Courtney HRT Holden +26.6021s 7. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden +30.0030s 8. Garth Tander HRT Holden +32.3723s 9. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +32.8526s 10. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford +37.7396s 11. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +37.9882s 12. Rick Kelly Nissan +48.7332s 13. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden +50.5834s 14. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden +51.6499s 15. James Moffat Nissan +58.0549s 16. Todd Kelly Nissan +1m02.1387s 17. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +1m03.1458s 18. Michael Caruso Nissan +1m08.3986s 19. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +1m12.0292s 20. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +1 lap 21. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +2 laps 22. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +2 laps 23. Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford +2 laps 24. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden +2 laps 25. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden +4 laps Retirements: Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden 53 laps Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes 52 laps Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes 34 laps