Jamie Whincup comfortably won the opening heat of the Townsville SuperSprint Supercars event, despite losing communication with his crew 10 laps into the race.
The Red Bull Holden driver made a smart getaway from pole to charge into a lead he wouldn't surrender across the 39-lap journey.
He already had a handy margin when he made his sole mandatory stop on lap 17, taking on three new tyres before cruising to a 6.9-second win.
That was despite no communication with the pitwall after lap 10 that, combined with Whincup being unsure if he'd seen the chequered flag on the last lap, led to him pulling up on the front straight rather than pitlane after the finish.
"We lost radio about lap 10, I was screaming at the guys to put the [pit] board out," said Whincup.
"And then I didn't get the chequered flag; he sort of had it out but he didn't know if it was me or not.
"I remember the old man said to keep going until you get the chequered flag, so I kept going. I was just trying to wing it with no radio.
"All in all I'm happy with the win, the car was excellent.
"We used three tyres, I think most maybe only used two, but we needed a win when we could grab it."
Whincup was subsequently fined $2000 for continuing around the circuit for the extra lap after the chequered flag went out, half of which is suspended until 31 December.
Cam Waters finished second after running longer than most in his first stint.
The Tickford driver didn't make his mandatory stop until 23 laps from home, using his fresher rubber to quickly close in on Chaz Mostert, who'd stopped seven laps earlier.
The pair staged a brief, intense battle before Waters blasted past at Turn 11 four laps from home.
"I had a bit of fun coming back through the pack, and racing Chaz as well," said Waters. "We actually kept it clean, which is amazing for us two..."
Mostert added: "It was a good old battle for Cam, we just had nothing for him. I wish I could have put on more of a show."
Fabian Coulthard got by David Reynolds late in the race to grab fourth, while Scott McLaughlin came all the way from 16th to finish seventh behind James Courtney.
The series leader made nearly all of his positions on the first lap, a classic lap one, Turn 2 concertina crash wreaking havoc in the midfield.
McLaughlin was able to sneak through, despite copping a whack on his rear bumper, emerging in eighth.
The likes of Anton De Pasquale and Shane van Gisbergen weren't as fortunate, the former able to recover to 10th while the latter lost nearly 10 laps for repairs on his Red Bull Holden.
Chris Pither was the surprise of the race, the Team Sydney driver right in the midfield battle as he finished a well-crafted 11th.
Result - 39 laps
|1||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight||Holden||49m02.9724s|
|4||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Penske||Ford||20.9698s|
|7||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Penske||Ford||32.8539s|
|10||Anton De Pasquale||Erebus||Holden||41.5750s|
|14||Garry Jacobson||Matt Stone||Holden||46.2928s|
|15||Jack Le Brocq||Tickford||Ford||1m02.6138s|
|16||Jack Smith||Brad Jones||Holden||1m02.8893s|
|17||Rick Kelly||Kelly||Ford||1 Lap|
|18||Alex Davison||Sydney||Holden||1 Lap|
|19||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight||Holden||9 Laps|
|-||Nick Percat||Brad Jones||Holden||Retirement|
|-||Zane Goddard||Matt Stone||Holden||Retirement|
|-||Todd Hazelwood||Brad Jones||Holden||Retirement|
|-||Macauley Jones||Tim Blanchard||Holden||Retirement|