A protest was sensationally launched by Jamie Whincup's Holden team in the wake of Will Davison's controversial Bathurst 1000 triumph at Mount Panorama on Sunday.

It is expected to be heard early next week.

Whincup's Red Bull Racing team were livid after the four-time champion crossed the line first in the 161-lap classic but had already copped a post-race time penalty, relegating him to 11th place on the timesheets.

It set up a final dog fight between 2009 winner Davison and Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen over the last 11 laps.

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And it didn't disappoint.

Trying to conserve fuel, Davison somehow held out a fast finishing van Gisbergen by 0.14 of a second - the closest competitive finish in the race's 56 year history.

Holden's Nick Percat was third.

Remarkably, Davison never led at any stage of the 56th Great Race. "It ran out of fuel as I crossed the finish line - I can't believe the way it panned out."

Neither could Whincup - or Red Bull Racing.

Whincup copped a 15-second time penalty after trying to snatch second spot from Volvo's Scott McLaughlin on lap 150.

He made contact with McLaughlin at The Chase, forcing the Volvo driver off the track.

McLaughlin weaved back onto the track, crashing with Holden's Garth Tander.

Red Bull Racing appear confident after coughing up $10,000 to lodge the protest.

"The penalty they gave is completely inconsistent," Red Bull team boss Roland Dane told supercars.com.

"It is questionable whether Jamie was guilty of any crime when you actually look at the incident with McLaughlin.

"(But) the stewards have confirmed that the 15 seconds penalty is nothing to do with the aftermath.

"That wasn't Jamie's fault."

A Supercars spokesman said: "A date has yet to be set to hear the appeal. "The results of today's race are final but subject to the appeal."

WHAT IS RED BULL'S ARGUMENT?

Red Bull lodged its intention to appeal on Sunday night and had two days to submit its evidence to the Supercars appeals court.

"Our view is, in the drivers' briefing all year let alone at Bathurst, the drivers were shown videos of level 1, 2 and 3 driving infringements," Red Bull team boss Mark Dutton told Speedcafe.com.

"A level 1 infringement is when you go for a dive, you have bit of a rub and that car goes off and doesn't spin and doesn't go to the back of the field.

"We have been told all year that the penalty for a level 1 is a redress and if that cannot happen it is a 10 point penalty off the drivers' championship points.

"There has never been any scope of a time penalty to be issued.

"The appeal goes to the board and it will be heard by other people."

Dutton said there was a case Whincup had not committed an offence, under current guidelines outlined by Driving Standards Officer Jason Bargwanna.

"If you look at the footage on the previous lap McLaughlin is on the racing line and then he blocks Jamie which is also said to be not allowed," Dutton continued.

"We will check the data but there are no locked brakes, he (Jamie) is not out of control and to make it worse McLaughlin turns in and hits Jamie which pushes him out wide.

"But despite all that he holds the racing line and tries to let McLaughlin redress.

"It is arguable if he has committed any crime but if he has then the punishment is not according to the Bathurst drivers' briefing."

Dutton was adamant Whincup and his co-driver Paul Dumbrell were deserving of the victory.

"It is Bathurst, we crossed the line first and we were not there by accident," Dutton added.

"We are not trying to get him back up to somewhere he wasn't.

"We are trying to maintain the finishing position he deserved."

-News.com.au