Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander completed a clean sweep of wins in this weekend's V8 Supercar racing at Albert Park with victory in race three of the Sprint Gas V8 Supercars Manufacturers Challenge.
In a repeat of the first two races, Tander jumped clear at the start and was never headed, despite an early safety car, to win the race, the weekend overall and do his part to ensure Holden comfortably beat Ford in the Manufacturers Challenge.
Second was Jim Beam Racing's Will Davison, who also finished second overall for the weekend, ahead of HSV Dealer Team driver Rick Kelly who was third in the race and for the weekend. Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall completed the top five, with standout performances from Steven Richards in sixth and Craig Lowndes in tenth.
The podium could have looked different though, with two other Fords in contention earlier in the race. On lap two, Davison running second came under attack from Mark Winterbottom into Turn 3.
Davison defended strongly but Winterbottom dived to the inside, and despite Davison continuing to squeeze, he snuck through. Behind them, Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup, who had started the race on new tyres, watched all this happening ahead and saw an opportunity.
Using a wide entry into Turn 3, Whincup passed Davison and pulled alongside Winterbottom on the exit. He then got his nose just ahead of Winterbottom as they entered Turn 4 side-by-side.
Forced wide by Winterbottom on the exit, who himself had put half his car over the exit kerb at Turn 4, Whincup moved back to the left to make the entry for Turn 5. As he did so, Whincup and Winterbottom made light contact.
From this point in it seemed neither driver could prevent where they ended up. Whincup steered right to move away from Winterbottom's car, but Winterbottom also appeared powerless to move away from Whincup, his steering possibly breaking in what appeared relatively light contact.
The two cars remained stuck together before eventually breaking free, Whincup continuing while Winterbottom's car hit the wall on the entry to Turn 5.
This brought out the safety car, before the race resumed on lap four. Soon after Whincup was given a drivethrough penalty for the incident, despite having been in front of Winterbottom at the point of contact and having been forced out wide by Winterbottom to begin with.
In the end, it made no difference as Whincup retired with a flat tyre on lap five, almost certainly as a result of contact from the incident.
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Garth Tander Holden 34:44.3442
2. Will Davison Ford + 2.5336
3. Rick Kelly Holden + 4.3881
4. Mark Skaife Holden + 10.3802
5. Russell Ingall Holden + 12.0292
6. Steven Richards Ford + 13.2801
7. James Courtney Ford + 16.0228
8. Cameron McConville Holden + 17.1906
9. Steven Johnson Ford + 20.4395
10. Craig Lowndes Ford + 20.6562
11. Fabian Coulthard Ford + 22.3394
12. Lee Holdsworth Holden + 23.8584
13. Jason Richards Holden + 26.1626
14. Jason Bright Ford + 28.0707
15. Tony D'Alberto Holden + 28.6187
16. Greg Murphy Holden + 29.8347
17. Michael Caruso Holden + 30.6556
18. Todd Kelly Holden + 35.8069
19. Shane Van Gisbergen Ford + 41.5613
20. Michael Patrizi Ford + 41.9581
21. Shane Price Holden + 43.2882
22. Marcus Marshall Ford + 45.6128
23. Andrew Thompson Holden + 47.8736
24. Kayne Scott Ford + 54.1429
25. Andrew Jones Holden +1:22.2747
Driver Make Laps
Paul Morris Holden 6
Jamie Whincup Ford 4
Mark Winterbottom Ford 1