James Moffat claimed his and the Nissan Altima’s first V8 Supercars victory as he led home teammate Michael Caruso to a 1-2 finish at Winton.
The duo looked set to snatch a historic pole for the team but were demoted in the final seconds of qualifying by current championship leader Jamie Whincup. The Triple Eight driver made a good start to the race and enjoyed an early advantage over both Nissans before disaster struck upon completion of the ninth lap when he was forced to retired with a gearbox malfunction. This opened the door for Caruso to take control of the race, with Moffat and Mark Winterbottom in close pursuit until the halftime interval.
The Nissans then swapped position on the restart as Moffat made the better getaway after his teammate missed a gear as they accelerated away. The 29-year-old went on to lead every lap of the second encounter and took the checkered flag 0.807sec ahead of Caruso, to give Nissan its first victory in the series for 21 years.
Jason Bright gained four positions to cross the finishing line in third position, ahead of Mark Winterbottom who he displaced on lap 21. Fifth went to James Courtney, whose podium-finishing roll came to an end after twice claiming second and third in the last eight races.
Title challenger Craig Lowndes experienced a torrid afternoon following a rollbar failure in qualifying. He lined up 15th and ultimately finished in 21st place having suffered from a lack of grip.
Results - 40 laps:Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. James Moffat Nissan 1h22m06.5120s 2. Michael Caruso Nissan +0.8076s 3. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +5.4828s 4. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +6.1253s 5. James Courtney HRT Holden +6.3837s 6. Will Davison FPR Ford +11.0251s 7. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +13.8307s 8. Garth Tander HRT Holden +18.0194s 9. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +18.3448s10. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +20.0609s11. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden +22.9482s12. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden +25.1893s13. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +26.1160s14. Rick Kelly Nissan +26.8501s15. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +28.0811s16. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford +28.8134s17. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden +28.8964s18. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +29.0834s19. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden +31.5529s20. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +32.1003s21. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden +32.4877s22. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +32.6408s23. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +35.0247s24. Todd Kelly Nissan +35.2207s25. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +35.3934s26. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +35.5746s27. Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford +36.1073sRetirements: Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 9 laps