Excellent pit strategy paved the way for Shane van Gisbergen to better rival and fellow New Zealander Scott McLaughlin in race 20 of the Supercars Championship in Ipswich yesterday.
The result reversed their one-two finish in favour of McLaughlin from Saturday and means the Ford driver retains his 131-point advantage over van Gisbergen in the championship, after 20 of 31 races.
It has been a New Zealand championship to date with Kiwi drivers winning 13 of the 20 races this season.
While McLaughlin managed to grab his 10th pole of the season, it was his Kiwi rival van Gisbergen who got the better of the start. However, McLaughlin was able to close in after his early first pit stop and led the middle stages of the race.
The key was that van Gisbergen stayed out for a longer first stint in the 200km race, and with the hotter conditions not yielding the same advantage for new tyres, it meant the Red Bull driver took full advantage after a shorter second stop.
He pushed back into the lead and while McLaughlin threatened with 10 laps remaining, van Gisbergen had more than enough to hold his rival at bay.
"It was a good battle, he got back to me at the end but what a day," Van Gisbergen said.
"Scotty is consistent and their team is on top of their game but I am enjoying the fight.
"Battling these guys every week up front, I am just loving it."
McLaughlin had no quals about coming up just short.
"Congratulations to Shane, he was too good," he said.
"We had a good battle in the middle but they were just too fast."
Chaz Mostert held off a charging Jamie Whincup for third, with Kiwi Fabian Coulthard claiming fifth in another consistent performance.
Of the other New Zealanders, Andre Heimgartner was 14th and Richie Stanaway, who qualified in the top 10 for the first time this season, finished 18th.
McLaughlin retains his 131-point buffer over van Gisbergen with Coulthard sixth, Heimgartner 18th and Stanaway 23rd.
The next round will see the first ever night race take place, with Sydney Motorsport Park playing host to the event next month.