Anton De Pasquale resisted an Olympian effort by Will Brown to win the final Supercars race of the weekend at Eastern Creek.
What seemed like an insurmountable ten-second lead and a leisurely cruise home quickly turned into a hard-fought tussle as Brown laid down a tally of lightning laps.
Brown lapped upwards of a second faster than De Pasquale at one point and looked certain to clinch a first Supercars career win.
But De Pasquale held his own and responded in the final five laps to keep his challenger at bay.
“Will was pushing me quite hard,” De Pasquale said.
“I knew he was coming, so I saved a bit of tyre for the battle…and once he got to me, I think he didn’t have much left.”
Second place for Brown is his first Supercars podium as a full-time driver.
No doubt he would have relished a debut win, but he was grinning from ear to ear with his performance.
“I put a bit of pressure on him a few times in the final corner, but once I got behind him the car got a bit hot,” he said.
“Would’ve liked to get the win but it was not today. But it is still cool to be on the podium.”
De Pasquale ends the weekend topping all but one session – that being his fifth-place finish (which was eventually stripped from him) in race two.
And the good news for him is there are three more back-to-back weekends at the same circuit to come.
“Looking forward to the next few weeks.”
Jamie Whincup collected his first podium of the weekend following a ding-dong fight with Red Bull teammate Shane van Gisbergen.
Whincup was ahead of van Gisbergen for the first stint, much to the Kiwi’s distaste.
The two swapped positions after the pitstop sequence before Whincup reclaimed the final podium spot with a little under ten laps in hand.
Van Gisbergen finished fourth, ahead of Will Davison, and continues to hold a substantial championship lead.
Cam Waters was a big mover and jumped up six spots to finish P6.
As for the other Kiwis in the field, Andre Heimgartner was 13th, while Fabian Coulthard retired with a suspected broken driveshaft.
“Little bit unfortunate but think we learnt one or two things that race,” Coulthard said.