Team Vodafone's Craig Lowndes gave his championship chances a boost with victory in race of the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains.
Lowndes grabbed the lead at the start and was never under too much threat the rest of the way, Garth Tander hanging with him throughout the race but unable to catch Lowndes.
Greg Murphy showed qualifying was no fluke and took his first podium in over two years with third position, a couple of seconds clear of Paul Dumbrell who gained six places from his starting position by race end. Not far behind Dumbrell was Mark Winterbottom, who looked on target for third position before an off on his out lap after his pit stop cost him a couple of positions. Less than a second behind him at the finish were Jamie Whincup and Russell Ingall, Whincup showing consistent pace throughout the race to move up five places from his grid position.
Steven Richards led home a train of cars in eighth place, with Fujitsu teammates Michael Caruso and Lee Holdsworth and James Courtney less than two seconds behind him.
Courtney gained only one place from his starting position, and was lucky not to lose two more, as Jason Bright and Shane van Gisbergen's battle with each other may have saved him from losing position to both of them.
Will Davison's woes continued, finishing 22nd after being knocked into a spin at the hairpin while running in 15th place late in the race.
Today's results have seen James Courtney's championship lead over Whincup shrink to 41 points, with Lowndes 188 points behind, moving 78 points closer, and Mark Winterbottom 281 behind Courtney.
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE 44m18.2888s
2. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE + 4.1579s
3. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE + 7.9877s
4. Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG + 10.2710s
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG + 11.6385s
6. Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE + 12.4524s
7. Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE + 12.6346s
8. Steven Richards Ford Falcon FG + 18.9877s
9. Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE + 19.8738s
10. Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE + 20.0846s
11. James Courtney Ford Falcon FG + 20.5076s
12. Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE + 22.1773s
13. Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG + 22.6689s
14. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 23.1384s
15. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 24.6882s
16. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VE + 27.3549s
17. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG + 31.4606s
18. Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG + 32.4954s
19. Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG + 32.9001s
20. Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG + 36.9833s
21. Tony D'Alberto Holden Commodore VE + 41.1846s
22. Will Davison Holden Commodore VE + 43.5759s
23. Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG + 49.4893s
24. Andrew Thompson Holden Commodore VE + 49.9732s
25. Warren Luff Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap
26. Tony Ricciardello Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap
27. Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap
Driver Make Laps
Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE 36
Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE 1