Rick Kelly ensured a winning end to the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship season for the HSV Dealer Team at Oran Park, with victory in the final race of the year.
Kelly had earlier finished the second race of the weekend in fourth place but stormed to the front when the final race of the campaign kicked off.
A fine compulsory pit-stop allowed him to maintain his lead and after a battle with former team-mate – and outgoing champion – Garth Tander, he took the flag for a well-earned victory that also allowed him to finish the round in third behind Tander and Team Vodafone's Craig Lowndes.
“It was a fantastic race, it was a bit greasy on the first lap,” he said. “We got off to a great start and managed to make our way up to the front. The pace the car had was unbelievable, we built a little bit of a gap and I was quite surprised because we started on tyres that were a little older than the ones we eventually used after pitting.
“I am pretty happy, we had our new car back for the weekend, obviously since the crash at Bathurst and it was great to end the year on a high for the whole team.”
The result saw Kelly end the season in seventh place in the standings, but he admitted he had hoped for more from the campaign.
“On and off the speed was there,” he said. “We had a few misfortunes throughout the year and I guess 2006 and 2007 for us were two fantastic years and unfortunately 2008 wasn't quite as good.
“That is the way it is and hopefully 2009 is a better year.”