Ford’s David Reynolds has broken through for his first V8 Supercars win since 2013 in the final race of the round in Darwin.
Reynolds converted his well-earned pole position to victory on Sunday afternoon, ahead of Prodrive Racing Australia stablemate Chaz Mostert and Holden’s Fabian Coulthard.
He hasn’t stood on the top step of the podium since the Gold Coast 21 months ago – and it couldn’t have come at a better time, with the 29-year-old off-contract at season’s end.
“Awesome, awesome car to drive,” Reynolds said, before divulging on TV he’d been suffering from stomach pains just before the race.
Unlike Saturday’s two sprints, Sunday’s 70-lap feature was largely carnage-free with Mercedes’ Ash Walsh the day’s only retirement.
Coulthard had got the jump on Reynolds and held on for a dozen laps, before getting caught in traffic and slipping back two places.
Reynolds regained the lead, which chopped and changed several times as cars pitted and tyre strategies came into play.
Red Bull’s bold move to pit early and don the generally quicker, soft rubber compound proved an early winner for Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes – who had started from 12th and 15th respectively.
The pair gained net ground on the leaders with some surprising speed, prompting their rivals to rethink their plans.
But the newly resurfaced Hidden Valley circuit wreaked havoc on their tyres and forced them back into the pits to change back to the hard compound.
The failed strategy saw Lowndes finish 15th and Whincup 22nd – further hurting their title standings after being docked championship points for their involvement in incidents on Saturday.
Lowndes copped a 15-point penalty, while Whincup was penalised 25 points.
Ford’s Mark Winterbottom finished the race fifth but managed to extend his championship lead to 95 points over Lowndes.
Whincup, who came into the weekend fourth overall, has slipped back to eighth, while Mostert – who scored a victory and two podiums over the round’s three races – moved to fourth.
The series next heads to Townsville from July 10-12.