Craig Lowndes set a new record for V8 Supercars race wins as he took his 91st career win in race one at Barbagallo to move ahead of Mark Skaife in the history books.
In the first half of the race Lowndes was content to sit behind Triple 8 Holden team-mate Jamie Whincup.
But Lowndes had the pace in part two, and slipped ahead into the first corner three laps after the half-time break.
Whincup was left to fend off Jason Bright, Mark Winterbottom and Fabian Coulthard.
Winterbottom had passed both Brad Jones cars in the closing moments of part one, only to lose out to Bright again at the restart.
But Winterbottom again came on strong in the final laps in the second half, overtaking Bright once more and then putting Whincup under pressure to the flag.
Coulthard dropped out of this fight when a left front puncture sent him through the gravel.
Second place still gave Whincup the championship lead, as Winterbottom's Ford Performance Racing team-mate Will Davison had a puncture early in part one. He recovered to 14th place.
Alex Davison and Alexandre Premat completed the top six, with David Reynolds battling to the front of the next pack to take seventh, followed by James Courtney, Shane van Gisbergen (who had an early clash with Scott McLaughlin in part two) and Nissan duo James Moffat and Michael Caruso.
Dick Johnson's new recruit Chaz Mostert and Mercedes driver Maro Engel had starred in a red-flag-interrupted qualifying session by taking top 10 spots, but were shoved back down the order in the race, ending up 15th and 25th respectively.
Scott Pye returned after his Symmons Plains crash and ended up in another dramatic incident, bouncing through the air sideways at high speed after a misunderstanding with Rick Kelly and Garth Tander on the final lap of part one.
Fortunately Pye's car did not roll and was patched up for the restart.
Results - 50 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden 1h13m05.0887s
2. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden + 1.8565s
3. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford + 1.9739s
4. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden + 4.8843s
5. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford + 8.9067s
6. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden + 11.2999s
7. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 13.3254s
8. James Courtney HRT Holden + 13.3758s
9. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden + 13.4396s
10. James Moffat Nissan + 13.9191s
11. Michael Caruso Nissan + 14.0789s
12. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden + 16.4860s
13. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes + 17.2427s
14. Will Davison FPR Ford + 21.8286s
15. Chaz Mostert DJR Ford + 22.0863s
16. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden + 22.4105s
17. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden + 22.7235s
18. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes + 23.6083s
19. Garth Tander HRT Holden + 27.1539s
20. Todd Kelly Nissan + 27.5420s
21. Tim Blanchard DJR Ford + 29.5292s
22. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden + 29.6989s
23. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden + 29.8891s
24. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden + 31.2497s
25. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes + 31.5499s
26. Rick Kelly Nissan + 1 lap
27. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden + 1 lap
28. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden + 1 lap