Mark Winterbottom defied pain and numb legs with a breakthrough victory for his Ford Performance Racing team at the Nikon SuperGP and now promises to become a thorn in the race to the flag in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Winterbottom through his Orrcon FPR Falcon at the daunting Surfers Paradise track despite a week-long debilitating illness that had him running on '30 per cent capacity' and sheer adrenalin on a gruelling second 300km day.

He beat home Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander and Jim Beam Racing's comeback kid James Courtney today while many of the rest of the field, including Championship leaders Jamie Whincup and Will Davison, stumbled on the dramatic day.

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"That's awesome," Winterbottom said. "It's been a tough weekend and I'm glad that it's over. It's a massive relief because we are a team that should be winning. Now we expect to be there for the rest of the year."

Winterbottom came to the Gold Coast not only sick but having to endure the endless BBQ jokes he has copped since his car blew up in flames at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. He proved today he has the grit to fight with the very best.

"If you keep pushing hard you forget about the pain," he said. "It's a very physical and mental battle. I couldn't feel my legs for a while so I kept pumping the pedals to stay clear of Garth. It rates very highly to win the way we did."

The second race was filled with as many dramas as the first when Whincup and Davison both suffered terribly and had to start from near the back of the grid.

Whincup finished an incredible sixth and Davison tenth meaning the Championship points' gap between the two is a meagre 32 points with three events remaining.

Whincup was extraordinary from the start. He came from almost the very back of the grid in 23rd and within 12 laps was in eighth. He exploited a chaotic start by claiming numerous places of the grid and began chipping away from there.

But Davison couldn't follow him, barely making up any places in the first half of the race.

Whincup's team-mate Craig Lowndes was amongst the first chicane mayhem which took Russell Ingall out. Officials later penalised Lowndes with a pit lane drive through which effectively cost him the day and first place on the podium.

"It's getting pretty loose out there, so there's got to be a change of attitude amongst the drivers otherwise we might as well run a demolition derby," Ingall said.

"That's cool, we can do that, others will run out of budget before us but it's not the proper way to go racing. If they want a free-for-all, let's go, but what about using some logic before it gets to that?"

The dramas of race one set the scene for the classic battle at the rear of the pack. Both Whincup and Davison had huge dramas, starting with the Holden gun who collected a tyre bundle and suffered major front end damage.

He was able to recommence and get back in the race but with Whincup miles ahead of him.

With a lap to go the unthinkable occurred. Whincup lost control of his machine, driving it straight into a concrete wall in what appeared to be simply driver error. Whincup was fuming with himself at such a poor mistake.

He failed to finish the race when he couldn't restart. All he had to do was cross the line to be regarded as a finisher. Instead he gave Davison another 21 Championship points to reduce the overall lead to 20 at that midway stage.

Sprint Gas Racing's Jason Bargwanna began the day on fire. He produced a cracking lap in the 20 minute 'dash for cash' qualifying to grab just his second pole position of his career in a fantastic milestone for the tremendously popular 'Bargs'.

But the elation was short-lived when his V8 became a V7 early in the race which cruelled his chances of a shot at further glory although he held on for ninth.

"That's one thing about this sport, you know, if you just never give up you end up back there. The guys in here are the ones that really deserve it; they're the ones that work really hard," he said.

"We've had some adversity this year, we've had things go wrong but they've put it together and we've managed to pull it off."

Bargwanna's problems allowed Lowndes to seize control of the race and a huge lead.

He wasn't the only with dramas.

WOW Racing's Cameron McConville and Wilson Security Racing's Fabian Coulthard had a massive accident from the start line. It was initially unclear what happened but McConville and Coulthard tangled out of control, slid sideways into a concrete barrier locked together at around 230km/h.

The huge impact shifted the four-ton concrete barriers more than a foot although both drivers walked away from the force of the hit. Their cars, however, were severely damaged, the worst of Coulthard who had a fight on his hands to get back for the second race of the day.