Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen took victory in the first leg of the Gold Coast 600 in a wet Race 21 on the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
Mostert's co-driver Owen led the field for a clean opening lap over Paul Dumbrell.
Alex Premat got on the radio and complained of the conditions and suggested the need for a safety car intervention, only to become the first incident of the race when he rotated his machine. Jack Perkins and Luke Youlden got a small piece of him as they split the DJR Team Penske Ford, which was able to continue on.
Andre Heimgartner muscled his way by Dumbrell for the second position on Lap 6 before moving under Owen for the race lead soon after. He then proceeded to drive away, pulling out to a two-second advantage after 10 laps of racing. By Lap 20, that margin had more than tripled.
While Owen fended off several attacks by Dumbrell, Richie Stanaway closed in and joined the fray. The enthralling battle came to a head on Lap 29 when Dumbrell speared Owen after a big lock-up, sending the pole-sitting car spinning. Stanaway slipped through and moved into the runner-up position as a 15-second time penalty was assessed to Dumbrell.
On Lap 35, a flurry of pit stops took place with Whincup taking over from Dumbrell and serving the penalty. Mostert also took over from Owen, but had a bit of a run-in with fellow Prodrive driver Mark Winterbottom as they exited their stalls. Winterbottom was promptly handed a penalty for an unsafe release.
That wasn't the extent of drama during pit stops however. David Reynolds had to climb into his car NASCAR-style through the window as the door was jammed due to damage Youlden sustained early in the race.
After a superb drive, Heimgartner handed over the No. 14 Holden to Tim Slade, who carried on with a comfortable lead. Cam Waters, who took over for Stanaway, slotted into second. Garry Jacobson, who pitted off-sequence from the rest of the leaders, was scored third when the first set of compulsory stops cycled through.
Todd Kelly and Garth Tander then had a coming together, causing big damage to the nose and rear of the Nissan.
Halfway through the rain-marred race, Slade held station at the front with ten-second advantage over Waters.
It took over half the event, but on Lap 57, the very first safety car intervention was needed when Lee Holdsworth slammed a tire bundle and dislodged them.
This is where the complexion of the race altered significantly. A slow stop for Slade dropped him from the lead down to third while Waters assumed control. The issue for Slade and company was a peculiar one -- the air jack didn't raise the car high enough due to water masking a hole in the asphalt, which didn't give enough clearance for the crew to remove the left rear tire. During the full-course yellow, Jason Bright also took over from Jacobson and restarted back in eighth.
On Lap 61, green racing resumed and Mostert quickly snatched the top spot away from Waters.
Due to the slow pace of the race, it became time certain in the later stages. With half an hour remaining, Mostert had pulled out to a four second lead.
Championship leader Fabian Coulthard was dealt a blow when race control slapped him with a 15-second time penalty for helping Nick Percat around. The penalty dropped him from 10th to 19th in the finishing order.
Mostert drove very cautiously in the final laps to avoid any mistakes in the slippery conditions, allowing his cushion over Waters to evaporate. At the line, he took the checkered flag by 2.4 seconds. Slade held off a hard-charging Shane van Gisbergen for the final spot on the podium, a first for co-driver Heimgartner. Michael Caruso crossed the line as the final driver inside the top five behind SVG.
|1||55|| Steven Owen
|Ford Falcon FG-X||94|
|2||6|| Richie Stanaway
|Ford Falcon FG-X||94||2.4916|
|3||14|| Tim Slade
|Holden Commodore VF||94||5.5391|
|4||97|| Shane van Gisbergen
|Holden Commodore VF||94||7.0041|
|5||23|| Michael Caruso
|6||88|| Jamie Whincup
|Holden Commodore VF||94||26.8865|
|7||888|| Steven Richards
|Holden Commodore VF||94||28.2674|
|8||5|| Mark Winterbottom
|Ford Falcon FG-X||94||43.3660|
|9||56|| Jason Bright
|Ford Falcon FG-X||94||47.5501|
|Ford Falcon FG/X||94||47.9276|
|11||15|| Rick Kelly
|12||2|| Warren Luff
|Holden Commodore VF||94||49.1462|
|13||17|| Alexandre Prémat
|Ford Falcon FG-X||94||50.0481|
|14||33|| Garth Tander
|Holden Commodore VF||94||51.3217|
|15||22|| James Courtney
|Holden Commodore VF||94||51.7119|
|16||21|| Tim Blanchard
|Holden Commodore VF||94||1'00.3189|
|17||78|| Simona de Silvestro
|18||9|| David Reynolds
|Holden Commodore VF||94||1'00.6665|
|19||34|| James Moffat
|Holden Commodore VF||94||1'02.6657|
|Holden Commodore VF||94||1'05.5635|
|21||8|| Nick Percat
|Holden Commodore VF||94||1'14.1452|
|22||99|| Dale Wood
|Holden Commodore VF||94||1'14.5461|
|23||62|| Alex Davison
|Holden Commodore VF||92||2 laps|
|24||18|| Lee Holdsworth
|Holden Commodore VF||58||36 laps|
|25||3|| Aaren Russell
|Holden Commodore VF||48||46 laps|
|26||7|| Todd Kelly
Jack Le Brocq
|Nissan Altima||45||49 laps