James Courtney has withstood enormous pressure to deny Jamie Whincup a Clipsal 500 opening day clean sweep.
The Holden pair finished one-two in Saturday's first races of the V8 Supercars session, Whincup taking the first and Courtney the second.
Courtney's win was a breathtaking display of guts behind a steering wheel on a scorching Adelaide day.
The two championship hopefuls were locked in a two-man battle, with Whincup not giving Courtney an inch.
With five laps to go, Courtney's Commodore took damage after cutting the barrier at turn one too fine, providing a dramatic ending to the 125 kilometre race.
A last-lap wobble around the fastest turn at the circuit sent him sideways but he held on in style, celebrating with his 'Frank the Tank' dance on top of the car.
"I had to be 110 per cent committed through turn eight every time," he said.
"(On the last lap) I closed my eyes for a bit of it.
"I just turned in, stood on the pedal and hoped for the best.
"I managed to only just pull it off ... it was big."
Whincup said it was "a cracker battle".
"If I couldn't win the race I'd like to think I was a part of making it one of the good ones," he said.
Chaz Mostert, who won pole position on his return to the sport after a horror Bathurst 1000 crash last year, finished third.
The results give Courtney the platform to be the first man to claim three Clipsal 500 overall victories in a row, and gave Whincup a little slice of history.
The Red Bull Racing man claimed a tenth victory at the Adelaide street circuit.
"I had my first win with Triple Eight here in 2006," he said.
"Happy to be here 98 (wins) later, 10 years on.
It's been a great run."
He breezed to a success in race one after zooming past surprise polesitter Scott Pye off the line and never lost effective control of the race.
Pye, who stunned the field to win his first pole position in front of his home crowd, managed just 12th after a pit-lane bungle cost him several places.
Shane Van Gisbergen rounded out the podium in third on his debut for Red Bull.
The Adelaide street circuit will host a 250 kilometre race on Sunday to round out the first V8 Supercars meet of the year.
V8 Supercars - Race 1 results
1. Jamie Whincup (Holden)
2. James Courtney (Holden)
3. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden)
4. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)
5. Garth Tander (Holden)
V8 Supercars - Race 2 results
1. James Courtney (Holden)
2. Jamie Whincup (Holden)
3. Chaz Mostert (Ford)
4. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)
5. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden)
V8 Supercars Standings
1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) 144
2. James Courtney (Holden) 144
3. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo) 120
4. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden) 119
5. Chaz Mostert (Ford) 92
6. Craig Lowndes (Holden) 87
7. Michael Caruso (Nissan) 84
8. Scott Pye (Ford) 82
9. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 81
10. Todd Kelly (Nissan) 79