Holden veteran Craig Lowndes has been denied his milestone 100th V8 Supercars win after a dramatic 200km race in Perth.
The Red Bull Racing star appeared set to become the first man to secure a century of V8 Supercars race wins but Mercedes’ Will Davison snatched the win by passing the 40-year-old with just four laps of the 83-lap race remaining.
The victory is Davison’s first with Mercedes and his first since a victory on the streets of Townsville in 2013.
Lowndes, who will head to Winton in Victoria still seeking his 100th win, came home second with New Zealander Fabian Coulthard securing third despite starting the race a lowly 24th on the grid after causing a red flag in qualifying.
Ford pair Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert, who started on pole, had dominated the race’s early stages and looked set to complete a dominant weekend as they hit the midway point in the race.
But a safety car, initiated when Davison’s Erebus Motorsport teammate Ash Walsh bogged his car in a sandtrap, destroyed the hopes of the Prodrive Racing Australia pair.
The safety car forced both drivers to finish on a set of worn-out soft tyres while Lowndes and Davison pulled away on fresh sets.
In the end though it was Davison’s tyres that lasted longest, enabling him to reel in Lowndes and take the win.
Despite missing out on the victory, Lowndes leaves Perth with the championship lead after Winterbottom limped home in 15th and six-time defending champion Jamie Whincup struggled his way to come home 19th.