MARK Winterbottom has taken victory in Race 3 of the MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge at Albert Park.
Garth Tander was second ahead of Will Davison.
The race was marred by opening lap carnage involving five cars including TeamVodafone’s Jamie Whincup.
The series champion was tagged by James Courtney on turn 3, leaving him stranded sideways on the track.
It then triggered a pile-up involving Karl Reindler, David Wall, Taz Douglas and Russell Ingall. Fujitsu Racing’s car of Alex Premat was also damaged, while Douglas' car ended up on its side and the race was red flagged.
It was restarted as a seven-lap timed sprint once the circuit was cleaned up, with Davison again employing the strategy of starting on soft tyres and pitting late for hard tyres.
He and Fabian Coulthard came back onto the circuit and were forced to fend off a range of drivers on soft rubber on the run home.
The Kiwi in the Lockwood Commodore ended up finishing a solid fifth behind Winterbottom, Tander, Davison and van Gisbergen.
Sixth was Lee Holdsworth from Craig Lowndes (who started from 27th on the grid after engine failure yesterday), Todd Kelly, Greg Murphy and David Reynolds.
Whincup managed to join the 23 surviving cars for the restart, though he finished 23rd and last at race's end after he had started from the pit lane.
The V8 Supercars will return to the circuit tomorrow for Race 4, where the points from Races 2 and 3 will determine the grid.
The race will start at 1.20pm local time.
Mark Winterbottom (#5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford – 1st)
“I got a slight gap on Garth but I knew he was there and then there was the unknown that was Will. When Will came out I watched the big screens for the last lap and watched him have a red hot go with Garth.”
Garth Tander (#2 HRT Commodore – 2nd)
“I knew that Will would be struggling on cold tyres. I know there is nothing worse coming out of pit lane when you know you are going to struggle.”
When you are running down and you know the leaders are coming is a daunting feeling.
Will Davison (#6 Tradingpost FPR Ford – 3rd)
“It was pretty exciting. We ran that strategy same as yesterday. When you are running down and you know the leaders are coming is a daunting feeling. You hope you might be able to hang on.”
Shane van Gisbergen (#9 SP Tools Falcon – 4th)
“We had a good first start but unfortunately it didn’t mean anything. The second start was pretty good and we were right behind Mark. I pushed very hard, the car was great, we got the fastest lap and the balance was fantastic. The braking, which we have been working on, was also a lot better.
“We made some tweaks because we were a little bit down on tyre life yesterday, so a longer race today would have been nice so we could try those changes. Hopefully we can get a good spot tomorrow and get on the podium.”