Mark Winterbottom secured his second straight V8 Supercars race victory by winning the first leg of the Barbagallo triple-header. But while one Ford Performance Racing driver won, the other lost the championship lead, as Will Davison was caught up in a first-lap incident.
Winterbottom's afternoon had got off to an odd start when contact with poleman Garth Tander as the cars formed up on the dummy grid mangled the FPR Falcon's door. They would come together again on a disastrous opening lap for Tander, who saw the soft-tire-shod Brad Jones Racing Holden of second-place starter Jason Bright go around the outside of him at the first corner to lead.
Triple Eight's Jamie Whincup also passed Tander (Holden Racing Team) further around the lap, with Winterbottom banging doors with Tander as he followed on the run to the last corner. David Reynolds (Rod Nash/FPR Ford) then tried to demote Tander another place, but they made contact, spinning the Holden in front of the field. In the chain reaction that followed, Davison was spun into Tander's car, ending the latter's race and sending Davison to the garage for repairs.
Bright held the lead until the end of lap 13, when Whincup slipped down the inside. That started a gradual fade for Bright, with Winterbottom soon into second.
Winterbottom used hard tyres for the first stint and stayed close enough to Whincup that by pitting for softs two laps before the champion switched to hards, Winterbottom was able to jump ahead.
That settled the battle for the lead, with Winterbottom staying clear of Whincup to win by 3.3 seconds, although Davison's disaster meant Whincup still picked up the championship lead.
Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes drove a superb race to come from 16th on the grid to third, making a very early pit stop for softs and then holding off a massive train of cars to the flag.
Stone Brothers Ford's Lee Holdsworth, HRT's James Courtney and James Rosenberg/Stone Brothers' Tim Slade led the queue behind Lowndes, while an intermittent misfire meant Shane van Gisbergen fell back from a likely podium for Stone Brothers to seventh.