James Courtney pulled off a strategically brilliant victory in the third V8 Supercars race at Ipswich's Queensland Raceway, while Jamie Whincup moved to the top of the championship standings.
Factory Holden driver Courtney held back a set of soft tyres in qualifying for Saturday's races and those, coupled with two perfectly timed pitstops, allowed him to secure his second win of the season.
The 2010 V8 Supercars champion slipped behind poleman James Moffat's Nissan at the start and then had to sit behind an out-of-sequence Craig Lowndes during the second stint of the race, but when the stops played out, it was Courtney who came out on top.
He took the lead of lap 34 of 65 as his Triple Eight rival had to make a long final stop for tyres and fuel, and it was a position he held with ease until the chequered flag, taking victory by a 5.5 second margin.
Lowndes gained seven positions overall to finish second, ahead of Chaz Mostert, who was in the mix all race long and held off a determined Moffat towards the finish.
Ford Performance Racing's rising star was struggling with tyre wear and Moffat tried a last-lap lunge at Turn 3, which went awry and he ran wide, relinquishing his position to Scott Pye.
Whincup was not far away from the scene of the incident and greeted the flag in sixth. In doing so, moved to the top of the drivers' standings after title rival Mark Winterbottom had a nightmare race.
The erstwhile championship leader was forced to pit on lap 12 with a tyre issue and was hit with another tyre delamination on lap 43.
He rejoined the action and fell down the order of not only the race, to 22nd position, but also the championship, as he now trails Whincup by 15 points.
Results - 65 laps:
|1||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||Holden||1h18m18.0553s|
|2||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden||5.5847s|
|3||Chaz Mostert||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Ford||7.9592s|
|4||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing||Ford||11.9481s|
|5||James Moffat||Norton Hornets||Nissan||14.3465s|
|6||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden||14.8925s|
|7||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden||18.7261s|
|8||Michael Caruso||Norton Hornets||Nissan||18.8903s|
|9||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||Holden||20.1539s|
|10||Shane van Gisbergen||Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods||Holden||27.7754s|
|11||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing||Holden||29.9486s|
|12||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing||Ford||36.3256s|
|13||Russell Ingall||Repair Management Australia Racing||Holden||37.7840s|
|14||Tim Slade||Supercheap Auto Racing||Holden||40.4111s|
|15||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel's Racing||Nissan||40.7326s|
|16||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing GRM||Volvo||43.0796s|
|17||Jason Bright||Team BOC||Holden||45.2293s|
|18||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport||Mercedes||45.6099s|
|19||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing GRM||Volvo||46.5478s|
|20||Dale Wood||Team ADVAM/GB||Holden||49.1147s|
|21||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel's Racing||Nissan||50.9901s|
|22||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Ford||1m03.3805s|
|23||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport||Mercedes||1m03.8131s|
|24||Jack Perkins||Team JELD-WEN||Ford||1m05.6551s|
|25||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford||1 Lap|