Shane van Gisbergen grabbed second in the 2014 V8 Supercars championship with victory in another rain-shortened Homebush race.
In a repeat of Saturday’s race two conditions, a dramatic storm hit the Sydney street track and rapidly flooded the circuit.
Van Gisbergen’s Tekno Holden was the car to beat regardless of the weather. He quickly charged forward from third to first in the damp opening laps, and once the field had made an early switch to slicks he was able to pull out a six-second gap over Holden Racing Team driver Garth Tander, who had vaulted past poleman Scott McLaughlin at the start.
The rain returned with vengeance precisely halfway through the planned 74-lap distance, but with half the circuit staying dry initially, Tander was able to gain ground by running longer on slicks.
When he did pit for wets, he emerged just ahead of van Gisbergen and then withstood several laps of huge pressure from his rival. But Tander ultimately made a slight slip, locking up and running into an escape road, just moments before the safety car was called out. That handed van Gisbergen the lead and, with the safety car being eventually followed by the race being abandoned as the storm got worse, victory in the season finale.
James Courtney made it two HRT cars on the podium in third ahead of champion Jamie Whincup.
McLaughlin lost ground in the pits and finished eighth behind Chaz Mostert, Tim Slade and Rick Kelly.
Van Gisbergen had only been fourth in the points heading into the weekend, but benefited from disasters for Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes.
A heavy crash in first qualifying on Saturday ruined Lowndes’s weekend. Still in great discomfort, he qualified badly for race three, had a trip off the road early on, and finished 17th.
Winterbottom dropped to the tail of the field in a first-corner clash with Courtney and later hit the wall by himself, limping home 19th.
Marcos Ambrose edged closer to the pace in his first race weekend since his return from NASCAR, finishing in 16th.