Red Bull Holden Racing struck a counter-punch on Supercars championship rivals Shell V-Power Racing Saturday as Jamie Whincup led teammate Shane van Gisbergen home in a one-two finish at Townsville.

The Ford outfit has dominated the championship so far and current series leader Scott McLaughlin made a strong start from pole position.

But defending champion Whincup made a dive at the Kiwi on lap two; made the pass stick and never looked back, cruising to his 110th career race win.

It was Whincup's 10th win in his 20th start over the past decade at Townsville.

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"10 for 10 sounds good," an ecstatic Whincup said. "I just had to remind myself that I could drive.

"David Cauchi [Whincup's engineer] gave me an absolute rocket today. I had a lot of fun – one-two for the team – I couldn't be happier.

"We have been a little bit off our guard. I dunno what it is about Townsville.
"We just dig deep and put in our best performance."

Van Gisbergen found his way past McLaughlin in the pits and managed to hold him off through the remainder of the race. McLaughlin eventually settled for third.

Craig Lowndes, fresh off announcing his retirement at season's end, brought his Holden home in fourth while New Zealander Fabian Coulthard was fifth.

The Holden factory-backed team has proven to be quick in races this season but have struggled to get comparable qualifying times with McLaughlin, which has seen them concede too much of a start.

But the qualifying performance was much better and, as a result, the Holdens were able to get the jump on McLaughlin.

"Red Bull Holden Racing Team – we have some awesome cars here," Van Gisbergen said after the race. "Fantastic I can't thank them enough.

"I really enjoyed that race. I had a great battle with Scotty too."

While McLaughlin battled to keep a podium finish he lost minimal ground in the championship battle.

"That was tough," McLaughlin said. "The two boys in front were very quick.

"[Whincup] was fast from the get-go. I got a good start but he went blistering past and I had nothing for him to be honest."

Sunday's racing features a repeat 70-lap contest.

Championship standings
Scott McLaughlin 1904 points
Shane van Gisbergen -152
David Reynolds -360
Jamie Whincup -412
Craig Lowndes -422
Scott Pye -562
Fabian Coulthard -564