Mark Winterbottom wins 'Qualifying Race' at Albert Park Photo credit Ford Performance Racing

Mark Winterbottom wins 'Qualifying Race' at Albert Park Photo credit Ford Performance Racing

Mark Winterbottom has won the opening race of the non-championship Australian Grand Prix event, the MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge at Albert Park.

SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen initially got the jump on front-row starters TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Winterbottom, but the Orrcon Steel FPR pilot quickly dispatched of van Gisbergen on the first lap and held on to claim victory with Whincup just 0.45s adrift in second.

Van Gisbergen came home third with Will Davison (Trading Post FPR), David Reynolds (The Bottle-O Racing Team), Craig Lowndes (Team Vodafone), Rick Kelly (Jack Daniels Racing), Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team), Tony D'Alberto (Tony D'Alberto Racing)and Todd Kelly (Jack Daniels Racing) rounding out the top 10.

The race's unique ‘drop zone’ format involved three cars per lap between laps three and eight being removed from the race, but not before a lap two crash eliminated both Jason Bright (Team BOC) and Michael Patrizi (Tekno Autosports) when contact between Steve Owen (V.I.P Petfoods) and Patrizi at the exit of Turn 10 spun Patrizi's Commodore into the path of Bright.

As a result of the incident, the race reached its maximum time cut-off two laps short of the scheduled distance. This removed the need for Race Control to deploy another Safety Car after Lap 9 to close the gap between the ten remaining drivers.

The results of the race set the grid for Race 2.

Qualifying race result:

1 Mark Winterbottom Orrcon Steel FPR Ford 11 28:23.6468
2 Jamie Whincup TeamVodafone 11 28:24.0967
3 Shane Van Gisbergen SP Tools Racing 11 28:27.5085
4 Will Davison Trading Post FPR Ford 11 28:28.3417
5 David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team 11 28:29.8571
6 Craig Lowndes TeamVodafone 11 28:30.2446
7 Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 11 28:32.9743
8 Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 11 28:33.2731
9 Tony D'Alberto Tony D'Alberto Racing 11 28:34.7413
10 Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 11 28:35.1381
11 Michael Caruso Fujitsu Racing GRM 8 22:38.9487
12 Lee Holdsworth Irwin Racing 8 22:39.5060
13 Greg Murphy Pepsi Max Crew 8 22:40.3628
14 Tim Slade Lucky 7 Racing 7 20:41.9052
15 James Courtney Holden Racing Team 7 20:44.5098
16 Alexandre Premat Fujitsu Racing GRM 7 20:46.7417
17 Russell Ingall Supercheap Auto Racing 6 18:44.8369
18 Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing 6 18:45.2528
19 Steven Johnson Jim Beam Racing 6 18:45.5564
20 Steve Owen V.I.P. Petfoods 5 16:46.8924
21 Karl Reindler Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing 5 16:47.0411
22 Taz Douglas Team iSelect 5 16:47.2416
23 Dean Fiore Jim Beam Racing 4 13:53.5366
24 James Moffat Team Norton DJR 4 13:54.5482
25 Jonathon Webb Tekno Autosports 4 13:56.9255
26 David Wall Wilson Security Racing 3 9:07.0262
DNF Michael Patrizi Tekno Autosports 1 2:12.5962
DNF Jason Bright Team BOC 1 2:12.8358