Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff took victory in a spectacular conclusion to V8 Supercars' first endurance race of the year at Sandown.
Triple Eight crews Lowndes/Luff and Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell monopolized the lead battle for much of the event, despite starting in seventh and 19th following Saturday's wild qualifying race.
Whincup was leading into the closing stages, but Lowndes – on fresher tires – was catching him rapidly, as was Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom. Lowndes grabbed the lead with 20 laps to go when Whincup slid over the grass.
The champion then had to focus on resisting Winterbottom, who muscled past the Holden two laps from the end of the 500-kilometer event. Winterbottom and co-driver Steven Richards had also had to charge forward, having started only 16th.
Garth Tander and Nick Percat were Holden Racing Team's top finishers in fourth, with polesitters Shane van Gisbergen and Luke Youlden taking fifth in their Stone Brothers Ford. The Dean Canto/David Reynolds FPR car was also a strong contender for victory until a slow final stop that left Reynolds having to battle back to sixth.
It was a disappointing car for the third FPR crew. Having started at the back, Will Davison tried to make up places with a very long first stint before handing over to partner John McIntyre, who lost ground in the middle of the race. They could only finish 16th.
Fast-starting Garry Rogers driver Greg Ritter produced a star cameo with a brief early lead challenge before spinning the Holden he shared with Michael Caruso.