Cameron Waters profited from a midrace safety car and resisted a late Shane van Gisbergen onslaught to win the final Supercars race of the weekend in Townsville.
Safety cars have become a rare occurrence in recent seasons.
Yet when they appear, they often shake up the running order and are a recipe for exciting racing.
Poleman Waters was second to van Gisbergen for most of the first stint after giving up the race lead on lap six.
However, when Macauley Jones smacked the wall unassisted at turn ten on lap 17, the race turned on its head.
Van Gisbergen’s healthy lead vanished, and he opted to pit for a fresh set of boots, along with most of the field.
Importantly, Waters stayed out one extra lap. He didn’t incur the safety car and that meant that when he did make his stop he jumped ahead of van Gisbergen.
Will Davison was another benefactor from the safety car, and a pre-safety car pitstop meant he slotted in between Waters and van Gisbergen.
Waters controlled the restart, while van Gisbergen immediately deposed Davison for second.
The margin separating the two leaders then began slimming as van Gisbergen ate into the gap with each passing lap.
The Red Bull dared a lunge at the final corner with seven laps in hand, though he couldn’t muscle himself past a stubborn Waters.
“What a great battle,” van Gisbergen said.
“I was giving him the thumbs up along the straight…it was good fun.”
Waters’ stout defence arrested each attack, and it soon appeared van Gisbergen had used the best of his tyres.
Seven-tenths was the margin at the start of the final lap, and that gap plateaued for most of the tour as Waters clinched his second win of the weekend.
Davison sat in behind the tussle, snapping at the heels of van Gisbergen but couldn’t get ahead of the Red Bull driver.
Todd Hazelwood overtook Anton de Pasquale at the safety car restart to snatch P4.
Jamie Whincup, James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom made up places six through to eighth.
Chaz Mostert was a notable finisher in ninth after dropping back to 21st at the pitstop when he was forced to doublestack.
Nick Percat rounded out the top ten.
Main Image: Cam Waters