The Team Vodafone driver beat pole-sitter Garth Tander off the line to take the lead, and was never placed under any serious threat for the rest of the 50-lap race. Tander tried valiantly to cling to Lowndes’ coat-tails, but proved unable to mount any serious challenge.
Greg Murphy – who has endured a rubbish 2010 season – backed up his surprisingly good performance in qualifying by completing the podium, finishing a few seconds ahead of Paul Dumbrell who had climbed up from his tenth-placed starting position.
Fifth-placed Mark Winterbottom had put himself in contention to take a podium finish himself, but slid off the track on his out-lap following his compulsory pit stop, which dropped him a couple of places.
He was chased to the line by championship contender Jamie Whincup – who had himself improved five places from his starting position – and Russell Ingall.
Eighth-placed Steven Richards held off a seven-car train (covered by just six seconds at the end of the race) that included Michael Caruso, Lee Holdsworth and championship leader James Courtney.
Courtney’s generally anonymous showing in the race sees his championship lead over Whincup shrink to just 41 points, while Lowndes’ win closed the gap by 78 points to a 188-point deficit. Fourth-placed Winterbottom lies 281 points behind Courtney.
Race 1 Final Classification (50 laps):
[Original image via Speed Cafe]
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