Holden Racing Team's James Courtney has emphatically opened up his 2016 V8 Supercars account after successfully soaking up a torrent of pressure from race one winner Jamie Whincup at the Clipsal 500.

Courtney's resolve wasn't to be broken despite Whincup throwing everything during the final few laps of a classic second Adelaide race.

Just as we had become accustomed to in 2015, Chaz Mostert led away from pole position while Whincup, instead of moving himself forward as in race one, was powerless in resisting the jump from HRT's Courtney into second position.

Whincup had initially looked to have made another race leading launch but subsequently bogged down during the second phase of the start, allowing Courtney to seize the high ground around the outside of turn one.

The chasing Holden Commodore's subsequently set about unsettling the race leading Ford Falcon FG X, although, Chris Pither's heavy turn eight shunt provided Mostert with some early respite while the marshals recovered the stricken Ford.

Once the race recommenced, Courtney and Whincup predictably ramped up the pressure by peppering the rear of Mostert's Prodrive Falcon with a series of hurried attempts.

Mostert resisted as the pit-stops, which began on lap 11, came thick and fast for the majority of the field.

Having successfully retained the lead during the pit-window, Mostert appeared to grow in stature as the race progressed despite looking vulnerable in the early stages.

However, shortly after the second safety car phase - called upon following an altercation between Tim Blanchard and Garth Tander - Mostert quickly fell from first to third as Courtney and Whincup both pounced at turn nine.

With barely 0.5's separating the two race leaders, Whincup threw everything at Courtney, drawing tantalisingly close to the HRT Commodore under the braking areas.

As the laps dwindled away the six-time champion grew ever closer and a couple of marginal errors from Courtney fuelled Whincup's fire.

But Courtney's corner speed through the high speed areas, ultimately withstood Whincup's assault.

The pair's bravery through turn eight on the final lap typified their incredible race long battle as Courtney held on by 0.6's as they crossed the line.

Mostert kept close tabs on the battling duo and secured his first podium since his horror accident at Bathurst back in October.

GRM Volvo's Scott McLaughlin once again had to settle for fourth ahead of fellow Kiwi Shane Van Gisbergen in fifth.

Michael Caruso was the top Nissan runner in sixth while DRJ Team Penske's Scott Pye put his race one woes behind him to finish seventh.

Jason Bright, Will Davison and Craig Lowndes rounded out the top ten order.