Jamie Whincup has broken through for his first podium finish in four months, but it is his Ford rivals who have triumphed in the opening race of the V8 Supercars round at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Chaz Mostert started from pole position and led each of the 16 laps on Saturday to claim his fourth victory of the season.
He came in 1.6secs ahead of Prodrive Racing Australia (PRA) teammate and championship leader Mark Winterbottom, with Holden’s six-time champion Whincup in third.
Fellow PRA driver David Reynolds and Holden veteran Craig Lowndes rounded out the top five.
Whincup’s podium ended a 12-race drought – stretching back to May in Perth.
“I’m obviously happy to get my first podium in a long time but, at the same time, there’s probably a lot of Holden fans sitting at home watching going ‘what’s going on? Where’s our next victory?’.
“I just want to say, I assure you, we’re doing absolutely everything we can.
“I’m happy that we’ve massively improved over the last few months, but there’s still a long way to go.
“Full credit to PRA – they’re doing a great job.”
Winterbottom’s result bumped his lead over Lowndes to 270 points, while Mostert reduced his deficit to 286 points.
Whincup remains seventh overall and 485 points in arrears.
Mostert has been dubbed the pole master but has struggled off the line this year.
He didn’t on Saturday, getting the slight jump on Winterbottom at lights out in what PRA team boss Tim Edwards admitted was a “borderline start”.
But it went unpunished and Mostert breezed through.
“It was nice and tight at turn one, but it was good to get through,” said Mostert.
Jack Perkins, who replaced the injured James Courtney in Holden Racing Team’s No.22 Commodore, finished 19th.
Courtney remains in hospital with two broken ribs and a pneumothorax after being struck in the chest on Friday by a metal hoarding, blown over by a low-flying Navy helicopter during a pre-practice display.
Mostert will start Saturday’s second race from pole position, his 10th of the season, beginning at 4.35pm (AEST).