Mark Winterbottom is back in contention for the lead of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series after a dramatic win in an incident packed race at Phillip Island.
Winterbottom grabbed the lead after team-mate Will Davison and current series leader Jamie Whincup were both taken out in a late race crash.
Davison was hit from behind by the car of Tim Slade setting off the chain reaction that saw the series two main championship contenders out of the race.
Ford dominated the podium with New Zealand driver Shane Van Gisbergen celebrating his new contract with Stone Brothers Racing with a second place.
Tim Slade survived his tangle with Winterbottom to finish third.
Once again the Team Vodafone Commodores were the class of the Holden runners, but with Whincup crashed out and Craig Lowndes hampered by a drive through penalty, it was HRT driver Garth Tander who brought the first Holden home in fourth place.
Lee Holdsworth finished fifth in another Stone Brothers Falcon ahead of the Commodores of Rick Kelly and Jonathon Webb.
It was a good comeback from Team BOC driver Jason Bright. Bright started from third position but contact from Lowndes dropped the Melbourne driver well down the pack.
He recovered to finish ninth.
Lowndes received a drive through penalty for the contact, he recovered to finish 13th.
Rounding out the top ten was Western Australian driver Michael Patrizi who drove well to take 10th place.
French driver Alexandre Premat’s tough initiation into the world of V8 Supercar racing continued with the Fujitsu Holden left stranded on the circuit with heavy rear-end damage after going off on the opening lap.
Winterbottom’s win moves him into second place in the series behind Whincup with a 200km race tomorrow (Sunday).
Race series organisers will be hoping for a much bigger spectator turnout for Sunday after a disappointing crowd for today’s opening race.
Although no official figures were released most Island regulars felt the crowd was well under 5000 people.