Defending champion Rick Kelly resumed the V8 Supercar Championship lead when he and returning V8 star Paul Radisich bagged 2nd place at this weekend's Sandown 500 in Melbourne.

Once again, Kelly was thwarted in his attempt to run down the race leader over the final laps of the 161-lap event, which marks the start of the V8 endurance season. This time failing by just 2.17s to catch Ford rival Craig Lowndes having missed beating Jason Bright by just 0.15s in 2006.

Kelly's team-mate and championship rival Garth Tander came fourth in the other Toll HSV Commodore, despite driving a race that probably should have delivered a podium finish.

Hopes of a rostrum finish were dashed after the #16 car was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane at the second pit stop, costing Tander almost 30 seconds and three places.

The fourth place netted Tander 45 points, compared with Kelly's 60 points. This means Kelly jumps back into the championship lead by nine points as the V8 Supercar circus heads to Bathurst for the biggest race of the year.