Scott McLaughlin controlled the race from the front to record his seventh win of the Supercars season at Ipswich yesterday.
The 25-year-old banked 150 points for the victory at Queensland Raceway to take his overall tally to 2183, extending his lead over fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen to 143, with Jamie Whincup third 433 points off the pace.
McLaughlin started the race in pole position — his ninth of the season — and led for 24 of the 39 laps.
Van Gisbergen produced a sensational start, rocketing from eighth on the grid to fourth after the first corner and third inside the opening lap. He finished just over four seconds behind McLaughlin for his fourth second placing in the last six races.
Fabian Coulthard started alongside Shell V-Power Racing team-mate McLaughlin at the front of the grid and stayed second early on before fading to fifth, behind Craig Lowndes in third and defending series champion Whincup in fourth.
"That was awesome," McLaughlin said. "It was a bloody good stop by my guys, they gave me an awesome car all day, so I am just happy to reward them.
"Gizzy must have had a monster first lap. I saw him in third and thought 'this guy is on fire'. Fantastic job from him, we will go hard [today].
"That was a really smooth race. I got a decent start and came out of the pits in a reasonable position," said McLauglin, who pinpointed rejoining the race just ahead of Chaz Mostert as a key moment. "My pit stops were great and I controlled the race at the end."
Van Gisbergen was understandably happy with his fast start in his Red Bull Holden.
"I just dropped the clutch and away it went," van Gisbergen said. "It was a really cool first lap, there was lots of room given and good racing. It was a great battle with Fabian and Craig after that, but Scotty was gone by then."
Mostert, who was demoted three places on the grid after a run-in with van Gisbergen, suffered from fading tyres after stopping early in the second half of the race and was the best of the rest in sixth. He finished just ahead of David Reynolds, James Courtney and the top Nissan of Michael Caruso. Nick Percat rounded out the top 10.
Of the other Kiwi drivers, Richie Stanaway placed 12th, his second-best result of the season, and Andre Heimgartner was 15th in the 27-car field.
There is another race at Ipswich this afternoon before moving on to the first Supercars night race in two decades at Sydney Motorsport Park on August 4.