Mark Winterbottom continued his winning streak in the V8 Supercars' non-championship outing at Melbourne by sealing victory in a chaotic race three.
The race was marred by opening lap carnage which involved five cars and brought about a lengthy safety car, which also served to reduce the race to a seven-lap sprint. Reigning champion, Triple 8's Jamie Whincup, was one of the casualties as he was tagged by James Courtney on the entrance to Turn 3.
With Whincup stranded, Karl Reindler, David Wall, Taz Douglas and Russell Ingall were all caught up in the resulting melee. Alexander Premat's Garry Rodgers Holden was also damaged. When the race was eventually restarted, Winterbottom – who had lost the lead on the original start – maintained his advantage, leading Shane van Gisbergen's Stone Brothers Ford.
Winterbottom and a gaggle of cars dived into the pits on the first lap, leaving Davison and Fabian Coulthard (Brad Jones Holden) fighting for the lead. The pair eventually pitted at the end of lap six, with Davison emerging behind Winterbottom and just ahead of Garth Tander's HRT Holden. The latter attacked immediately and forced his way through on the final lap to earn second, with Davison taking third. Van Gisbergen, Coulthard and Lee Holdsworth (Stone Brothers Ford) rounded out the top six.
The results from the three qualifying races will be used to determine the grid for Sunday's final, for which a prize fund of $500,000 will be available.