Starting the race on minus 23points, following a 50-point penalty for an incident in the first race, reigning champion James Courtney hit back to win an enthralling race and an epic final five-lap thriller with Jason Bright that saw the lead change an incredible six times.
TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup started from pole position for race two, alongside teammate Craig Lowndes, but a first-lap pile-up involving Tony D’Alberto (Wilson Security Racing), Tim Slade (Lucky Seven Racing) and Garth Tander (Toll HRT) led to the first of two lengthy safety-car periods and an epic battle of fuel and race strategies.
In the first safety-car deployment, Whincup pitted from the lead along with Mark Winterbottom, who had moved into second after overtaking Lowndes at the start. Confusion in the pits, however, saw the Ford Performance Racing driver jump Whincup for the lead, before going wide out of the final corner at the restart handed Whincup back the top-spot.
Just thirteen laps later though a second extensive safety-car period was triggered, when a charging Craig Lowndes smashed into Russell Ingall while attempting a pass on Alex Davison. Reacting to Whincup's late decision to come in to the pits to refuel under the safety-car period, Winterbottom's FPR team called him in, but diving into the pit-lane, Winterbottom crossed the merging line, leading to a costly drive-through penalty.
Following the restart, having gambled on another safety-car appearance, James Courtney and Team BOC’s Jason Bright's decision to refuel during the first safety-car period paid off, with Courtney leading from Fabian Coulthard, and Bright in fifth, but gaining ground fast.
With only nine laps left, Bright had moved up to second passing Coulthard. Five laps from the end, Courtney was still ahead, but had made the switch to full fuel-save mode. With no such issues, Bright closed the gap and lunged for the lead with three laps to go.
But Courtney upped his pace and both drivers were dicing for position, the lead changing three times over three corners, before Courtney snatched top-spot and held on to secure his first win for the factory Holden team, with Bright just six-tenths of a second behind.
Speaking after the race, Bright admitted: “I thought we had James. I had to do a fair bit to catch him, and then when I got in front I didn't have the drive left to keep him at bay.”
Whincup finished in third, putting an end to his unbeaten streak at the Yas Marina circuit. David Reynolds took a career-best fourth for Kelly Racing hazarding a similar fuel strategy to Courtney, with Michael Caruso (Fujitsu Racing) finishing sixth – a top-six Holden clean sweep.
Courtney, who had covered more than half of the race on one tank of fuel, said: “It is an awesome feeling. After all the hype in the off season all I wanted to do was just get in the car and drive. I can't thank the guys in the team enough â€¦ we stuck together and our strategy was amazing.”
“I'm surprised we made it to the end. I was conserving so much fuel which allowed Brighty to close in on me but then the boys said I had a bit to play with so I just kept pushing! This is amazing. I'm stoked!”
|Pos||Car||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||Points|
|1||1||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Commodore VE2||9||01:58:7740||01:43:14:6510||43||150|
|2||8||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Commodore VE2||8||01:59:1330||01:43:15:2580||43||138|
|3||88||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||41||01:58:9940||01:43:19:4780||43||129|
|4||16||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||8||01:59:1000||01:43:22:5920||43||120|
|5||34||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||9||01:58:8520||01:43:26:9960||43||111|
|6||19||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||32||01:59:8070||01:43:27:7510||43||102|
|7||4||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||29||01:59:5660||01:43:28:3070||43||96|
|8||9||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||8||01:58:9810||01:43:28:8500||43||90|
|9||11||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||13||01:59:6590||01:43:32:7270||43||84|
|10||55||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||14||01:58:2900||01:43:34:9310||43||78|
|11||21||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||8||01:58:7250||01:43:35:1480||43||72|
|12||14||Team BOC||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||27||01:57:7400||01:43:35:7210||43||69|
|13||49||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||13||01:59:3070||01:43:40:3640||43||66|
|14||5||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||36||01:59:1100||01:43:42:7610||43||63|
|15||61||Huzzah Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||27||01:59:0700||01:43:57:1390||43||60|
|16||6||Trading Post FPR Falcon||Will Davison||Falcon FG||9||01:58:6610||01:44:03:7710||43||57|
|17||30||Gulf Western Oil Racing||Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||9||02:00:1260||01:44:10:2680||43||54|
|18||17||Dick Johnson Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||9||01:58:8650||01:44:14:0650||43||51|
|19||15||Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||34||01:58:5290||01:43:51:2980||42||48|
|20||12||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||8||01:59:4140||01:44:00:4720||42||45|
|21||888||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||11||01:59:6620||01:45:15:8730||42||42|
|22||33||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||9||01:59:0730||01:44:04:2300||38||39|
|DNF||18||Dick Johnson Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||9||02:00:0110||01:09:20:2660||26||0|
|DNF||39||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||12||01:59:4850||50:58:6110||19||0|
|DNF||7||Kelly Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||2||04:30:0580||11:47:9070||3||0|
|DNF||47||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||–||–||–||-1||0|
|DNF||3||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Commodore VE2||–||–||–||-1||0|
|DNF||2||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Commodore VE2||–||–||–||-1||0|