Jamie Whincup won a fourth successive points-paying V8 Supercar race to complete a double in front of 123,000 fans at the Hamilton 400.
'Mr Untouchable' also completed a remarkable turnaround after crashing out of qualifying in last year's event, and extended his championship haul to a perfect 600, with a lead of 102 over Garry Rogers Motorsport's Lee Holdsworth 498.
“Today was all about race pace and we had a fast car," the reigning champion commented, "We picked our time for the pit-stop, got out really fast and the car was on rails for the whole race. Considering that, last year, I didn't even start both races, this weekend was pretty amazing.”
Whincup might have done it for the fourth straight race, but the emergence of Jim Beam Racing pair James Courtney and Steven Johnson in second and third showed that he may at least be reachable as the series goes on.
While still quite a way back, Courtney believes his team is getting closer to Whincup, with the double podium finish coming on the back of putting both cars on the front row of the grid after Armor All qualifying on Sunday morning.
“He had an awesome car all weekend, and it shows that 888 know what they are doing,” Courtney said, "but our guys are doing a fantastic job. We've only had these cars for two rounds now and are trying to work out what makes them go fast. These guys have the advantage of building and designing the cars [that we use].”
Johnson added that it was the detail and fuel economy that appeared to be the difference between Whincup and the rest of the field.
“We've got to work just a little bit harder on our fuel economy, whereas Jamie's car was fast but also had good fuel economy," he noted, "So if that's what beat us at the end of the day, then we are not that far away. Last year, and the year before that, we had a pretty hard run. This year, it's coming together, although I'm still quite disappointed about qualifying in Adelaide, but you can't dwell on that.
“I wouldn't say this weekend exceeded my expectations. I was pretty disappointed with my lap in the Shoot-out when I missed a gear onto the straight. Apart from that small mistake, I'm pretty happy with the weekend, our strategy and what we wanted to do. We will only move forward from here.”