Mark Winterbottom nipped past fellow Ford driver Shane van Gisbergen on the final lap to win the second race on the MSS Security V8 Supercar program at the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
The Ford Performance Racing driver edged out van Gisbergen by just 0.5912 seconds at the flag, with long-time leader Will Davison (Trading Post) making it a clean sweep for Falcon.
In a race where tactics again played a major role, Winterbottom was one of 13 drivers to take their compulsory pit stop after lap one, joined by the likes of the fast-starting Jamie Whincup (Team Vodafone Holden Commodore), Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team), van Gisbergen and David Reynolds (The Bottle-O Racing Team Falcon).
After the flurry of early activity, Davison and Craig Lowndes (TeamVodafone Commodore) then settled in to control proceedings from the front, before Lowndes retired at the halfway mark and Davison pitted with just one lap to go after attempting to maximise his strategy on soft tyres.
It nearly produced the perfect result too, as Davison returned to the race track in third -- but just too far behind Winterbottom and van Gisbergen to mount a serious challenge on the last lap.
That left Winterbottom to make it two wins from as many starts at Albert Park, with more racing to come on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was nice to race cleanly with Shane at the end; we were both pushing hard,” said Winterbottom. “Coming out of turn six, we were both on the opposite lock. And Will was the dark horse -- we were watching on the monitor and didn’t know where he was.
“It was just a really good race, and it was nice to come away with the win.”
Tander finished fourth in the 12-lapper, a four-spot improvement on race one, followed by polesitter Whincup, who, after bolting from the start, saw his winning ambitions thwarted after a slow pit stop.
Twenty-six of the 28 starters completed the distance, with Lowndes and James Moffat the two DNFs.
Race three of the MSS Security V8 Supercar Challenge will be held at 3:20pm tomorrow afternoon.