Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup recovered from his qualifying misfortune to take a comfortable win in race two of the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand.
After Ford only winning one championship race out of 24 in New Zealand prior to this weekend and Whincup failing to even start a race last year at Hamilton after an incident involving Todd Kelly in qualifying ended his weekend early, it was the best possible result for both of them.
Whincup remained in fourth during the early laps of the race just behind the leading trio but made his pitstop early to get some clear track. When the rest of the field had pitted, Whincup was over seven seconds and even a safety car period at two-thirds distance made little difference.
Second was a good result for Jim Beam's James Courtney after his dramas in the first three races of the year, running in third in the early laps before moving up to second during the pitstops.
Meanwhile his team-mate Steven Johnson, who led the opening 24 laps of the 59-lap race, lost ground during the stops and just held on to third ahead of Lee Holdsworth. Fabian Coulthard just held on for sixth ahead of Holdsworth's team-mate Michael Caruso.
After their poor grid positions, the Holden Racing Team duo of Will Davison and Garth Tander did well to finish in seventh and ninth respectively, making some ground through the pitstops as well as passing cars on the track in the closing laps of the race.
After a good result in qualifying this morning, Ford Performance Racing's Steven Richards looked set for a top-five result, but a mistake while running fifth on lap 45 saw him drop down to finish outside the top-ten in 12th place.
His team-mate Mark Winterbottom fared even worse, failing to make it past lap one after being involved in contact at turn one at the start.
A couple of other high-profile drivers that failed to finish were Whincup's team-mate Craig Lowndes, who went out on lap 50 while running sixth after clouting the chicane and breaking his left front suspension, and Russell Ingall who was tenth with four laps remaining when he suffered an apparent engine failure.
With four wins in four races, Whincup has the perfect score of 600 points. Second, 102 points behind him is Garry Rogers driver Lee Holdsworth, with HRT's Will Davison 15 points behind Holdsworth and Jim Beam's Steven Johnson 21 behind his former team-mate Davison.
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Jamie Whincup Ford 1:27:34.7215
2. James Courtney Ford + 6.0319
3. Steven Johnson Ford + 8.5539
4. Lee Holdsworth Holden + 9.2412
5. Fabian Coulthard Ford + 11.6819
6. Michael Caruso Holden + 12.2705
7. Will Davison Holden + 18.0546
8. Greg Murphy Holden + 21.3306
9. Garth Tander Holden + 21.8858
10. Alex Davison Ford + 28.5822
11. David Reynolds Holden + 29.4276
12. Steven Richards Ford + 30.6357
13. Michael Patrizi Ford + 32.1047
14. Rick Kelly Holden + 33.1425
15. Shane Van Gisbergen Ford + 48.5413
16. Dale Wood Holden + 49.0531
17. Jack Perkins Holden + 1:06.8810
18. Jason Bright Ford + 1 lap
19. Cameron McConville Holden + 1 lap
20. Dean Fiore Holden + 1 lap
21. Tony D'Alberto Holden + 4 laps
22. Jason Richards Holden + 6 laps
23. Paul Dumbrell Holden + 6 laps
24. Todd Kelly Holden + 13 laps
Driver Make Laps
Russell Ingall Holden 57
Craig Lowndes Ford 49
Marcus Marshall Ford 14
Jason Bargwanna Holden 11
Mark Winterbottom Ford 0