Mark Winterbottom resisted a fast-closing Jamie Whincup to take his first points-paying victory of the 2012 V8 Supercars season in the series' final Hamilton street race.
Whincup recovered from a crash in qualifying and a poor start to hunt down Winterbottom. Going into the final few laps, the champion's Triple Eight Holden was all over the back of the Ford Performance Racing Falcon, but Winterbottom ensured there was never a gap big enough for Whincup to take advantage of.
The Ford man crossed the line just 0.7sec ahead, giving the Hamilton crowd a thrilling finish in the series' last appearance at the New Zealand street venue, which is ending its five-year relationship with V8 Supercars.
Although Winterbottom had won three of the four non-championship Formula 1 support races in Melbourne, the Hamilton win was his first maximum points score of 2012.
Winterbottom had taken the lead from pole-sitting teammate Will Davison at the start, with FPR holding first and second for much of the distance.
Whincup, his car repaired after clouting the wall in qualifying just a few hours earlier, fell from third to seventh at the start, but made a rapid recovery and was past Davison for second just after half-distance, before setting his sights on Winterbottom.
Saturday race winner Davison retained third and his points lead, while Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes held off Fabian Coulthard (Brad Jones Racing Holden) and Lee Holdsworth (Stone Brothers Ford) for fourth.
Race one podium finisher Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) clashed with Tony D'Alberto – who went on to take eighth – early on, shedding debris that caused the race's only safety car period.
Results - 59 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 1h26m13.0000s
2. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden + 0.7247s
3. Will Davison FPR Ford + 13.9516s
4. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden + 23.2582s
5. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden + 24.3533s
6. Lee Holdsworth Stone Brothers Ford + 26.9937s
7. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 37.4299s
8. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Ford + 42.1515s
9. Todd Kelly Kelly Holden + 46.1106s
10. Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Ford + 50.7248s
11. Tim Slade Rosenberg/SBR Ford + 51.6316s
12. Rick Kelly Kelly Holden + 53.3337s
13. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden + 53.4270s
14. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw Holden + 59.1139s
15. Steven Johnson Dick Johnson Ford + 59.3717s
16. Dean Fiore Triple F Ford + 59.5274s
17. Greg Murphy Kelly Holden + 59.6991s
18. James Moffat Dick Johnson Ford + 1m11.1624s
19. Taz Douglas Dumbrell Holden + 1m16.5855s
20. Karl Reindler Kelly Holden + 1m20.7575s
21. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden + 1m27.2093s
22. James Courtney HRT Holden + 1m32.8326s
23. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden + 1 lap
24. Alexandre Premat Garry Rogers Holden + 1 lap
25. Michael Caruso Garry Rogers Holden + 8 laps
26. Garth Tander HRT Holden + 11 laps
Michael Patrizi Tekno Holden 48 laps
Steve Owen Dick Johnson Ford 13 laps