Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom won his first race of 2010 in the opening race of the Skycity Triple Crown at Hidden Valley, keeping 2008 and 2009 series champion Jamie Whincup at bay throughout the race.
Winterbottom held on to the lead at the start and gained a couple of seconds through the pit stops by pitting two laps earlier. However, late in the race, Whincup closed the margin but never got close enough to make a move.
Third was Shane van Gisbergen who ran sixth in the early stages, but took four tires at his pit stop versus most others who took only rear tires. With more grip in the second half of the race, he made several passes on his way to the podium.
After falling from first to 10th in the shootout, fourth was a little unexpected but a nice reward for Jason Richards. Moving up to seventh in the early stages, Richards was the first to pit and the move paid off, running in third after the stops until van Gisbergen passed him at three-quarter distance.
For James Courtney, fifth was a step down after four consecutive wins in the previous four races. But he took the place despite strong attention from Tim Slade throughout the second half of the race, who himself had Craig Lowndes breathing down his neck.
All three drivers benefited from a late-race mistake by Garth Tander, who ran off the circuit at Turn 1 with six laps remaining and fell from fifth to 10th.
After qualifying 20th, Russell Ingall made his customary charge up the order to finish 11th, Rick Kelly doing similarly to move from 21st to 14th. But some other drivers had their days go from bad to worse. Will Davison, who missed the shootout, got a good start but then got stuck in gear. The team tried to fix the problem but he retired soon after.
Meanwhile Steven Richards, who had qualified 26th was climbing his way up the order when he made his pit stop. However, his engine stalled during the stop and didn't want to re-fire, eventually leading to a DNF.
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 51m17.8454s
2. Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE + 0.7875s
3. Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG + 21.6808s
4. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VE + 27.3063s
5. James Courtney Ford Falcon FG + 30.2206s
6. Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG + 30.6761s
7. Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE + 31.8960s
8. Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG + 32.6942s
9. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 35.0204s
10. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE + 35.7560s
11. Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE + 35.8686s
12. Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE + 36.7657s
13. Tony D'Alberto Holden Commodore VE + 40.5169s
14. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 45.7401s
15. Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG + 46.0622s
16. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE + 46.5392s
17. Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE + 52.0917s
18. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG + 56.2089s
19. Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE + 56.7588s
20. Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG +1m00.1620s
21. Andrew Thompson Holden Commodore VE +1m02.7218s
22. Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE +1m05.2802s
23. Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE +1m06.1575s
24. Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG +1m06.3890s
25. Tony Ricciardello Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap
26. Daniel Gaunt Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap
Driver Make Laps
Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE 29
Steven Richards Ford Falcon FG 27
Will Davison Holden Commodore VE 1