A loophole in race regulations allowing teams to use remaining soft tyres from Saturday's race had the pit-lane buzzing about unpredictable racing and surprise winners. But in the end it made no difference as TeamVodafone’s Jamie Whincup stormed to victory in the second race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400, ahead of team-mate and nearest championship rival Craig Lowndes.

Starting from eighth after a poor qualifying session, Whincup gained three positions in the opening stint, before emerging in second place after the first round of pit-stops.

He was then caught up in the pit-lane melee, as the race's one and only safety car intervention on lap 47 caused mayhem. With drivers slowing out on circuit to avoid queuing behind their team-mates and a congested pit-lane making exit and entry difficult, Whincup was forced to wait behind Lowndes to make his stop.

Resuming the race in fourth, he tore through the field passing Saturday’s race winner Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander, then Orrcon Steel Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom and up behind Lowndes in the closing stages. Lowndes, who had started from pole and led for much of the race wasn’t able to hold off the two-time champion and he relinquished the lead on lap 56. Whincup pulled clear, finishing with a 4.3s margin.

“You never give up until the last minute. The car was fantastic on hard tyres and all we could do was fight back at the end,” said Whincup.

“I really wanted this one… we've had a couple of wins on Saturday here, but I've never been able to win on Sunday so this is great.”

Winterbottom rounded out the podium after fighting inside the top-five all race, leading home a trio of Fords with Irwin Racing's Alex Davison fourth and SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen fifth.

Fujitsu Racing GRM driver Lee Holdsworth finished sixth, with Lucky Seven Racing's Tim Slade in seventh, a great recovery after contact with Team BOC's Jason Bright after the restart. Bundaberg Racing's Fabian Coulthard, Supercheap Auto Racing's Russell Ingall and The Bottle-O Racing team's Paul Dumbrell rounded out the top ten.

Garth Tander's chances of a weekend double were dealt a huge blow when his rear suspension failed, resulting in a lengthy spell in the garage. He eventually limped over the line 26th. Team-mate and defending champion James Courtney, having started from 12th had been running as high as fourth, but a drive-through penalty for spinning around Tim Slade on lap 48 while battling for fourth, ended his surge and resulted in a 19th place finish.

The series now takes an extended break until the next championship event, the Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway from August 19-21.

Race 15 results:

Pos Entrant Driver Vehicle Fastest Lap Fastest Lap Time Race Time Laps

Points

1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup Commodore VE2 69 01:13:7725 01:32:45:8802 72 150
2 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes Commodore VE2 4 01:13:8137 01:32:50:2740 72 138
3 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon Mark Winterbottom Falcon FG 23 01:14:2351 01:32:57:1208 72 129
4 Irwin Racing Alex Davison Falcon FG 31 01:14:0547 01:32:59:8227 72 120
5 SP Tools Racing Shane van Gisbergen Falcon FG 63 01:13:8966 01:33:05:8033 72 111
6 Fujitsu Racing GRM Lee Holdsworth Commodore VE2 53 01:13:9761 01:33:06:3241 72 102
7 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade Falcon FG 40 01:13:5400 01:33:13:1971 72 96
8 Bundaberg Racing Fabian Coulthard Commodore VE2 54 01:14:3542 01:33:15:3146 72 90
9 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Commodore VE2 50 01:14:4685 01:33:16:0311 72 84
10 The Bottle-O Racing Team Paul Dumbrell Falcon FG 28 01:13:8207 01:33:18:1816 72 78
11 Jana Living Racing Jason Bargwanna Commodore VE2 33 01:13:8625 01:33:18:6566 72 72
12 Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson Falcon FG 21 01:14:5564 01:33:21:5118 72 69
13 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Commodore VE2 22 01:14:2705 01:33:21:5306 72 66
14 VIP Petfoods Steve Owen Commodore VE2 61 01:14:4908 01:33:21:8525 72 63
15 Jim Beam Racing James Moffat Falcon FG 63 01:14:5588 01:33:22:4302 72 60
16 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Commodore VE2 21 01:14:4226 01:33:28:2331 72 57
17 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Commodore VE2 50 01:14:6860 01:33:29:2212 72 54
18 Trading Post FPR Falcon Will Davison Falcon FG 24 01:14:0807 01:33:30:7542 72 51
19 Toll Holden Racing Team James Courtney Commodore VE2 9 01:13:7979 01:33:34:7497 72 48
20 Pepsi Max Crew Greg Murphy Commodore VE2 6 01:14:2014 01:33:38:6441 72 45
21 Gulf Western Oil Racing Warren Luff Commodore VE2 47 01:14:1616 01:33:41:4635 72 42
22 Team Boc Jason Bright Commodore VE2 66 01:13:9369 01:33:42:7440 72 39
23 Stratco Racing David Reynolds Commodore VE2 23 01:14:4248 01:33:55:1114 72 36
24 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Commodore VE2 9 01:14:6657 01:32:48:4011 68 33
25 Wilson Security Racing Tony D’Alberto Falcon FG 51 01:14:3442 01:33:26:0879 67 30
26 Toll Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Commodore VE 51 01:13:6449 01:32:50:8365 62 27
DNF R and T Pumps Dean Fiore Falcon FG 18 01:14:7533 01:15:40:8290 39 0
DNF Mother Energy Racing Team Jonathon Webb Falcon FG 1 01:32:6236 01:32:6236 1 0