Ford's Will Davison has stretched his lead in the V8 Supercar series after clinching victory in the opening Hamilton 400 race.
Davison fought his way from sixth on the grid to beat home defending champion Jamie Whincup in a Holden.
Whincup managed to slip past polesitter Garth Tander just three laps from the end to manage a runner-up finish.
It was Davison's ninth career victory and his third of the current season.
Local hero Shane van Gisbergen was the victim of an over-aggressive start, which was the precursor of his race deteriorating from bad to disastrous.
The Kiwi jumped away from second spot on the grid in his Falcon in an attempt to beat Tander to the first turn.
However he went in far too deep and out-braked himself, dropping back several spots.
In a bid to make up for lost time van Gisbergen exceeded the number of times a driver can 'kerb-hop' during the chicane and was penalised with a drive-through penalty.
Meanwhile Davison harried leader Tander for the first third of the race and eventually made his move at the first corner.
The Ford star swept past the West Australian to seize the lead and, with clean air, managed to pull away.
Tander then had a fast-charging Whincup behind him, hounding him in another Holden while Whincup's Triple Eight teammate Craig Lowndes' New Zealand misery continued.
Despite his successes in Australia, New Zealand has never been kind to Lowndes and he battled to improve from sixth, eventually finishing fourth, after the retirement of Ford's David Reynolds.
Reynolds, one of the series' most promising drivers, was running in a respectable fourth place before his race was over six laps from the finish with a steering issue.
Results from Race 1 in the ITM400 Hamilton, the 3rd round of the series, at Hamilton Street Circuit (circuit: 3.4km) today:
1. Will Davison (Ford) 1hr 28mins 43.7686sec
2. Jamie Whincup (Holden) 1:28:46.2970
3. Garth Tander (Holden) 1:28:48.2868
4. Craig Lowndes (Holden) 1:28:48.5946
5. Rick Kelly (Holden) 1:29:05.0625
6. Steve Owen (Holden) 1:29:07.3490
7. James Courtney (Holden) 1:29:08.9542
8. Michael Caruso (Holden) 1:29:09.2258
9. Fabian Coulthard (Holden) 1:29:09.5911
10. Russell Ingall (Holden) 1:29:09.8352
11. Steve Johnson (Ford) 1:29:10.6629
12. Jason Bright (Holden) 1:29:14.0679
13. Lee Holdsworth (Ford) 1:29:15.8424
14. Todd Kelly (Holden) 1:29:16.0700
15. Tim Slade (Ford) 1:29:16.3528
16. Dean Fiore (Ford) 1:29:20.7668
17. Michael Patrizi (Ford) 1:29:23.0576
18. Tony D Alberto (Ford) 1:29:35.8822
19. Jonathon Webb (Ford) 1:29:43.3933
20. Taz Douglas (Holden) 1:29:47.5404
21. David Wall (Holden) +1 Lap
22. Shane Van Gisbergen (Ford) +1 Lap
23. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) +2 Laps
24. David Reynolds (Ford) DNF
25. Karl Reindler (Holden) DNF
26. Alexandre Premat (Holden) DNF
27. Greg Murphy (Holden) DNF
28. James Moffat (Ford) DNF