Red-hot V8 Supercars driver Mark Winterbottom has picked up his third straight win with victory in Saturday’s opening race at Queensland Raceway.
The Ford star easily accounted for teammate and pole-sitter Chaz Mostert off the line and ran unchallenged at the front for the 20-lap race to extend his championship lead.
It’s Winterbottom’s seventh win from the past 12 races.
Volvo driver Scott McLaughlin finished second for his best finish of a difficult year.
Holden veteran Craig Lowndes stole third place on the final lap, passing both Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen as that pair tussled between themselves.
Van Gisbergen would eventually come home fourth, with Mostert having to settle for fifth.
Defending champion Jamie Whincup’s title defence took another hit, with the Holden star only capable of finishing ninth.
It’s wasn’t a good race for Holden’s Jason Bright, Volvo’s David Wall or Ford youngster Scott Pye.
Bright and Wall both failed to finish after suffering early damage while Pye had to retire when his engine gave out on the 12th lap.
Lowndes will start from pole position alongside Winterbottom in Saturday’s second 20-lap race, which starts at 4.30pm.