Trouble hindered the WPS Racing V8 Supercar campaign despite hints of potential during today's opening race of the BigPond Grand Finale at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.

Starting from 26th position on the grid, David Besnard had rocketed the #48 Team Australia entry up an incredible 10 places during the opening lap.

One more rotation around the 4.45 kilometre circuit and the Gold Coast driver was in the pits, nursing major driver's side panel damage suffered after being hit while cornering.

Besnard was eventually forced to retire and will start from the rear of the grid for tomorrow's second race.

"There's not much I can say, I know we had a pretty good race car after today's qualifying session and it's just very frustrating and disappointing," said a dejected Besnard.

Things weren't much better for team mate Craig Baird as he showed similar grit during the opening exchanges only to fall by the wayside after just three laps.

Front end splitter damage called for a lengthy pit stop, leaving the New Zealander with a tough job starting from 30th position tomorrow.

"We are much better than our results showed today and that will be our motivation towards tomorrow," said Baird.

It was again Ford drivers dominating proceedings at Phillip Island as Craig Lowndes finished ahead of Marcos Ambrose in today's opening race with Garth Tander completing the minor placings.