Shane van Gisbergen claimed his first win of the 2014 V8 Supercars season in the third race at Pukekohe, while Mark Winterbottom moved into the championship lead.
Polesitter Scott McLaughlin led the early laps of the race before his compatriot picked off Jamie Whincup and then assertively took the lead heading into the hairpin on lap 8 of 35.
Van Gisbergen was never headed for the remainder of the 100-kilometre race and held on to take his first points-paying win of the year, finishing a slender 0.28 seconds ahead of a charging Winterbottom.
The race two winner put McLaughlin under immense pressure and only found a way past the Volvo on lap 26, before setting off to close the 4.3s gap that was present at the time.
McLaughlin completed the podium after fending off Whincup on the final lap, while the reigning champion's Triple Eight team-mate had another anonymous race.
Craig Lowndes started seventh but dropped down the order to finish 10th and relinquished his lead of the championship in the process.
Garth Tander and David Reynolds were embroiled in a race-long battle for fifth, which eventually went in the favour of the 2007 champion by 0.26s.
Results - 35 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden 39m34.1380s
2. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +0.2896s
3. Scott McLaughlin GRM Volvo +7.4696s
4. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden +7.6686s
5. Garth Tander HRT Holden +10.0567s
6. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +10.3221s
7. Nick Percat Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +10.7209s
8. James Moffat Nissan +10.9639s
9. Scott Pye Dick Johnson Ford +11.3046s
10. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden +12.6419s
11. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +13.1575s
12. James Courtney HRT Holden +13.9175s
13. Michael Caruso Nissan +14.2794s
14. Russell Ingall Dumbrell Holden +19.1035s
15. Rick Kelly Nissan +19.9800s
16. Chaz Mostert FPR Ford +20.2396s
17. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +20.9616s
18. Will Davison Erebus Mercedes +21.3870s
19. Todd Kelly Nissan +23.7067s
20. Dale Wood Britek/BJR Holden +32.5274s
21. Robert Dahlgren GRM Volvo +35.7751s
22. Jack Perkins Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +38.6265s
23. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +59.5016s
24. Tim Slade Rosenberg/HRT Holden +59.8757s