Jamie Whincup made a blinding start to the 2016 V8 Supercars season with a controlled win on the streets of Adelaide.
Whincup made straightforward work of the opening 125-kilometre exchange, firing from P2 on the grid to the lead on the run to the first corner.
Once in front he never looked back, comfortably negotiating the compulsory pit-stop, and a mid-race Safety Car after Tim Slade stranded himself at Turn 9, to take a 3.9s win.
“It’s pretty warm out there,” said Whincup. “It’s nice to get the runs on the board nice and early. I’m just going treat every win like my last, you never know when your last win is going to come.”
James Courtney finished second, having been a big winner from the stops. The Holden Racing Team driver had been running fourth at the end of the first stint, but jumped both Scott Pye and Scott McLaughlin in the pits after stopping on Lap 12.
The same went for Shane van Gisbergen, who went from fifth to third – where he ultimately finished – during the stops, relegating McLaughlin to fourth.
McLaughlin did pressure his fellow Kiwi to the finish, but had to settle for fourth.
Pye, meanwhile, was the big loser from the stops. The pole-sitter had been running second in the first stint, but was dumped down the order when the DJR Team Penske crew had a problems securing the left rear. He wound up finishing down in 12th.
Garth Tander finished fifth after a typically gritty race from the West Aussie. His second stint was particularly impressive, Tander systematically picking off the likes of Rick Kelly, Mark Winterbottom, Craig Lowndes, and Todd Kelly in a handful of laps following the stops.
Todd Kelly finished an impressive sixth, having jumped a few spots by pitting right as the Safety Car was called, with Lowndes seventh, Winterbottom eighth, Rick Kelly ninth, and Fabian Coulthard 10th.