Former V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup kicked his season off in style with a comfortable win in Abu Dhabi.
The Triple Eight Holden driver is unbeaten in three V8 races under the lights at Yas Marina, and he was never really challenged this time. The polesitter, Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes, was caught napping at the start, and from third on the grid Alex Davison shot his Ford into the lead.
But under braking at the end of the long back straight, Whincup made his move and was untouchable at the front thereafter. Davison held on for second, ahead of FPR teammate Mark Winterbottom.
In a race of tension rather than excitement, it was Shane van Gisbergen who made the most moves, dragging his Falcon up from 15th on the grid to an excellent fourth. Tim Slade had to fend off Garth Tander for almost the whole race, but held his nerve to secure fifth.
It was a woeful debut for Tander's HRT teammate James Courtney. The reigning champion tangled with Jason Bargwanna early in the race, and spent an age in the pits as his Holden was repaired. He set a series of stunning fast laps as he fought a lost cause way back in 27th.
Lowndes also faced a tough day after his poor start, and he took seventh after ruining his tires during his comeback charge