Larkham -- Orrcon Racing's Jason Bargwanna made a positive start to the Bigpond Grand Finale at Phillip Island in Victoria today.

After qualifying in 20th position Bargwanna moved up several positions during the opening few laps of the 23-lap race, which included a compulsory pit stop for a change of tyres.

When Bargwanna, a former Bathurst Champion, pitted to allow the crew to change the rear tyres on his Orrcon Racing Falcon a slick stop enabled him to move up the order even further and inside the top 15.

Throughout the remainder of the race he battled with Jason Richards, Paul Morris and Mark Skaife for the positions between 14th and 17th.

For the majority of the final half of the race Bargwanna maintained 14th before being passed on the final two laps by Morris. Unfortunately contact between the pair bent the steering on the Orrcon Racing Falcon and also allowed Skaife to pass, dropping Bargwanna to 16th.

"Today was a pretty good day, we moved up quite a few spots and had some reasonable pace for the majority of the race. Unfortunately contact between myself and Morris bent the steering which allowed Skaife through on the last lap," said Bargwanna.

"The car was very consistent throughout today's race and we will go through the data tonight and look at improving the set up for tomorrow's longer races and aim to finish with a good result."

Bargwanna's team-mate Mark Winterbottom also moved up the order from his 22nd qualifying position to finish 18th.

"Our problems in practice yesterday really put us behind the eight-ball for qualifying but we chipped away and got a reasonable result," said Winterbottom.

"Tyre wear on the rear is very much an issue around this circuit for many teams but towards the end of today's race the Orrcon Falcon was quite strong which gives me some confidence entering the longer races tomorrow."

Courtesy of today's finishing places Bargwanna will start tomorrow's opening 32-lap journey from the eighth row, two places ahead of Winterbottom.

Today's race was won by Craig Lowndes ahead of Garth Tander and defending champion Marcos Ambrose.