Garth Tander put the Holden Racing Team back on top in the first of this weekend's V8 Supercars races in Townsville, taking his and his squad's first victory since Adelaide in March.
Tander ran fifth in the first stint, but an early pitstop and strong out-laps got him up to third, behind early leaders David Reynolds (Kelly Racing Holden) and Paul Dumbrell (Rod Nash/Ford Performance Racing).
The lead pair had been the only drivers in the field to start on the much faster soft rubber, and stormed through the pack into the top two positions, but once everyone was on harder tires in the middle stint, Tander was able to hunt them down and overtake.
Reynolds escaped a clash with Tander's team-mate James Courtney when the reigning champion was a lap down due to a different strategy, but later had a long delay in the pits while an alternator issue was attended to. Dumbrell would slip back to 12th in the end.
Points leader Jamie Whincup could not quite get on terms with Tander as the race progressed and finished second for Triple Eight, 3.3 seconds off the lead.
A further 9.5s back, Ford Performance Racing's Will Davison successfully fended off late attacks from Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes to hang on to third, just ahead of polesitter Mark Winterbottom in the sister FPR car, which dropped back in the pit sequences, and the Garry Rogers Holden of Lee Holdsworth.