Feeling the heat in the V8 championship, two-time defending champion Jamie Whincup kept his cool to hold out a fast-finishing Mark Winterbottom to claim race two in Darwin yesterday.

For the first time in two years, Whincup entered a round without the championship lead when he arrived at Darwin. The Holden ace showed he had lost none of his ability by taking out the 200km, 69-lap race at Hidden Valley.

Winterbottom - the victor in Saturday's opening 120km race - finished just over four seconds down in his Ford.

Shane van Gisbergen was third while fellow Ford driver James Courtney, who entered the round as series leader, finished fourth.