A bone-crunching opening Supercars Challenge race at the 2017 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park was a Ford Falcon bonanza, with Scott McLaughlin winning ahead of teammate Fabien Coulthard and Chaz Mostert.
The trio all moved ahead of Jamie Whincup (Holden Commodore) early on, and then held station at the pointy end of the pack until the end of the 13-lap race – which ended under a pace car after a massive shunt between Nick Percat (Commodore) and Lee Holdsworth (Commodore).
Holdsworth was collateral damage in the lap 11 incident after Percat ran out of brakes heading into turn one, and then cannoned into his opponent. Both drivers were unhurt, but the damage forced the pace car out to control proceedings.
Percat and Holdsworth joined Rick Kelly (Nissan Altima), Tim Slade (Commodore) and Garth Tander (Commodore) on the last of race one DNFs, while back on track Whincup held onto fourth from Michael Caruso (Altima), reigning V8 Supercar champion Shane van Gisbergen (Commodore), James Moffatt (Commodore) and Mark Winterbottom (Falcon).
Until his left rear tyre called it a day, Slade had been sitting in a comfortable fifth position behind Whincup.
Meanwhile, Commodore drivers David Reynolds and James Courtney were ninth and 10th, while McLaughlin set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:57.0198.
And in an historical footnote, the 1-2 finish for the Dick Johnson-run Shell V-Power Racing team was its first quinella since Lakeside way back in 1998!
Race two in this non-championship V8 Supercar round will be held at 5:50pm today, with Coulthard on pole once again, ahead of McLaughlin, Whincup, Mostert, Caruso and Slade.