Holden's James Courtney has triumphantly marked his return to the V8 Supercars field with a remarkable Gold Coast 600 win alongside his co-driver Jack Perkins around the Surfers Paradise.

Courtney re-joined the action this weekend after spending the last three events - including the fabled Bathurst 1000 - on the sidelines following a freak pit-lane incident back in Sydney earlier in the season.

Despite starting from eleventh - with Courtney still dealing with the legacy of breaking five ribs and puncturing a lung - the HRT duo rose through the field before making the killer blow during the final safety car phase.

The #22 HRT Commodore opted to make a quick splash and dash during the final safety car period in a bid to extend their fuel window with the end in sight. It was a clever piece of strategic acumen that paid dividends and Courtney managed to nurse the Holden over the line to beat Nissan's Rick Kelly and David Russell by just under two seconds.

It was also a breakthrough win in the V8 Supercars for Perkins, who stood up to the plate and took over from Courtney's duties during the former champions period of absence.

Prior to Courtney and Perkins' renaissance up the field, the Red Bull Holden of Craig Lowndes and Steve Richards led the early stages ahead of the pole-sitting Volvo S60 of Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat.

Richards immediately pounced on Premat at the start of the race and snatched the lead away from the Polestar Volvo. Lowndes inherited the #888 Holden with the lead still intact but the final safety car swung against the Bathurst winners favour.

The second factory Holden effort of Garth Tander and Warren Luff demoted Lowndes/Richards a position further and denied the Red Bull duo a step on the podium.

Yesterday's race one victors, Shane Van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb completed the top-five while McLaughlin and Premat eventually fell to sixth.

Seventh provided some sort of consolation for Triple Eight's Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell after their race one woes with the Nissan Altima of James Moffat and Taz Douglas following close behind in eighth.

The Bottle-O Racing Falcon FG X of David Reynolds and Dean Canto finished where they started in ninth as Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore became the third and final Nissan combination to reach the top ten in tenth.

Elsewhere, eleventh for Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen provided the championship leading Prodrive outfit with scant consolation after losing major ground in the points battle to the chasing pack, led by Lowndes.

With the series heading to Auckland two weeks from now, Winterbottom still leads the title race but at a reduced 258-point margin.

 

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