Supercars veteran Craig Lowndes reckons the battle for this year’s title will continue to see-saw after Holden wrested back the lead off rivals Ford in Darwin.
Red Bull Racing superstar Jamie Whincup left the Top End with a 30-point buffer on Lowndes after finishing second and eighth in the weekend’s two races at Hidden Valley Raceway.
Lowndes entered the round in fourth but shot up two spots with an 11th and third.
The biggest loser was defending champion Mark Winterbottom, who was 27 points clear before arriving in the Northern Territory.
The Ford posterboy finished ninth on Saturday but had a horror afternoon on Sunday, crossing in 20th following two crashes and a drive-through penalty.
He slipped down to fourth overall, 63 points behind Whincup.
There have been eight different leading drivers in 2016, with 13 races completed.
According to Lowndes, that trend will continue.
“It’ll go up and down, backwards and forwards, definitely,” he said.
“I’m really happy to be second at the moment, but you can blanket over the first five cars I think.
“It’s going to be a tough championship. We got to this point last year and there was a clear one or two cars or teams, drivers, that are favourites.
“But at the moment you can’t gamble on anything.”
The series next heads to Townsville from July 8, a track at which Lowndes has had mixed fortunes but one that’s been kind to Winterbottom, Whincup and Sunday’s Darwin race winner Shane van Gisbergen.
Holden driver Lee Holdsworth will miss the event, and possibly others, after fracturing his pelvis in a heavy shunt on lap one of Sunday’s race.
He remains in Royal Darwin Hospital with minor injuries to his chest and left elbow.