HRT's James Courtney holds off 2014 V8 Supercars runner-up Shane Van Gisbergen to retain his Clipsal 500 title following an epic grandstand finish at Adelaide.

Courtney successfully resisted a colossal amount of pressure from Tekno Autosports Van Gisbergen, who threw everything at the 2010 champion during the closing laps of an enthralling race.

At one stage, Van Gisbergen did actually barge his way past the HRT Commodore but the Kiwi, fearful of receiving a reprimand for the robust overtake, played it safe and allowed Courtney back through into the lead before one again unleashing a barrage of threatening attempts for the lead.

Moving back to the beginning of the race, Courtney enjoyed a relatively untroubled stint in the lead, as defending champion Jamie Whincup, who jumped past Fabian Coulthard for second at the start, couldn't match the SP Tools Commodore's pace throughout the first pit phase.

The game changed though on lap 25 when Will Davidson's ailing Erebus Mercedes E63 brought out the safety car which created a whirlwind of varying strategies.

As the strategies played out, Courtney - who covered Red Bull Racing Australia's and Whincup's three-stop plan - had to fight his way back through the pack.

But once the race progressed into the final third, Courtney, Van Gisbergen and Garth Tander became the three clear candidates for the victory thanks to a second safety car period negating the advantage of the cars who chose to run long into afternoon.

For a brief period it did look like that the front three's battle may have allowed the two Pepsi Max Ford's of Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom, who were sandwiching Whincup in fourth, back into play but the podium order of Courtney, Van Gisbergen and Tander remained unchanged as the chequered flag fell.

Sadly the end of the race was marred by the ferocious collision between Mostert and Nissan's James Moffat resulting in both cars receiving substantial damage.

It later transpired that an incident between Whincup and Mostert during the final corners was the catalyst for the incident, which caught the unlucky Moffat at wrong time and place.

That meant Winterbottom moved up to fifth ahead of Rick Kelly, Tim Slade, Craig Lowndes and Todd Kelly who all completed the top ten after 79 laps of racing.

GRM's Scott McLaughlin's 'topsy turvy' weekend continued when an alternator issue on his Volvo S60 forced the Kiwi out of race winning contention following a lengthy pit-stop to the change the battery.

 

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