Prodrive's Mark Winterbottom takes advantage of a slow starting Chaz Mostert to close in on V8 Supercars championship leader Craig Lowndes.

The Ford driver upheld his prominent reputation of being a fast starter after easily stealing the lead from his pole sitting team mate Mostert as the green flag dropped.

To compound Mostert's woes, the Nissan Altima of Rick Kelly ended up splitting the two Pepsi Max Crew Ford Falcon's after pulling off a brave manoeuvre around the outside of the race one winner into the first corner.

Mostert then surprisingly dropped back while Kelly refused to be shaken off in second position. The Nissan Altima remained glued to the rear of Winterbottom amid an enthralling sequence of laps but couldn't draw himself close enough to strike an attack.

Kelly's second place was the Nissan Motorsport driver's first taste of champagne since Sandown 2011.

It was similar story in the battle for third, which was contested by Mostert's Prodrive stablemate David Reynolds in fourth.

The 23-year old enjoyed just enough of a buffer ahead of The Bottle-O Falcon FG X to back up his race one win with another podium finish.

Mostert also hinted that the Prodrive Ford's went conservative in picking their tyre strategy for the 20 lap dash in preparation for tomorrow's longer main race.

Tekno Autosport's Shane Van Gisbergen and Red Bull's Jamie Whincup resumed their race one battle in pursuit of a top-five result. The Kiwi once again prevailed but only after being made to re-pass the Triple Eight Holden.

Erebus' Will Davison split the two Red Bull Racing Holden's in seventh as Craig Lowndes conjured an improved eighth place finish in race two.

Volvo's Scott McLaughlin led Michael Caruso home as the pair completed the top-ten in ninth and tenth.

Caruso was unable to produce a charge to the podium like he did in the first race from having started back in eighth position.

Holden Racing Team's lacklustre weekend took an embarrassing twist when James Courtney tagged Garth Tander into an early retirement at turn one.

Courtney admitted he got crossed up on the marbles as he slid into the slide of his unsuspecting team mate. The former championship leader then received a drive-through penalty for his indiscretion.

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