Scott McLaughlin held on for a showstopping finish from Kiwi counterpart Shane van Gisbergen to take revenge on his Holden rivals at the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint.
The two young stars went head-to-head to produce one of the closest finishes of the year with margin of seven tenths of a second after 65 laps and 200kms of racing.
While McLaughlin took the victory in his Shell V-Power Mustang the Red Bull Holden Racing Team of Van Gisbergen would have noted they pushed him to the very end when racing toe to toe.
“That was hard, Shane pushed me the whole way, he just kept coming and coming and coming. I felt like I was driving a truck or a bus, just had no turn,” McLaughlin said.
Chaz Mostert was a long 10 seconds back down the road from the winner, showing the dominance of the two Supercar powerhouse teams.
McLaughlin now leads the standings by 433 points after second-placed Fabian Coulthard finished 18th; a lacklustre weekend compounded by an early tangle.
The result secured Ford the 2019 Supercars Manufacturers’ title, which is based on total race wins through the season.
“I just want to keep building. I am very lucky I get to drive a car like this and want to make the most of it. Credit to Shane and his boys, they are coming back as well as the Tickford guys.”
Van Gisbergen slowly clawed the margin back lap by lap to set up a potential grandstand finish with his fellow New Zealander. McLaughlin was holding on grimly as the rear vision mirrors began to fill with Van Gisbergen’s Commodore.
“I don’t like coming second but that was an awesome race. My car was awesome today, I tried as hard as I could … bloody cool,” Van Gisbergen said.
“I was worried about how we qualified but a quick tune up and we were ready to go.”
Van Gisbergen’s team-mate and Saturday winner Jamie Whincup was fourth having been amongst the lead pack early, before losing ground in the middle stint.
Whincup attempted an undercut on McLaughlin early in the race as the first to take a pit stop but the Shell V-Power out fit responded almost immediately, thwarting an early change for the lead.
Mostert took a second podium for the weekend in third, albeit 10s from the leader by the chequered flag, with fourth-placed Whincup another 6s in arrears.
Will Davison backed up his Saturday podium with fifth, ahead of Tickford team-mate Cameron Waters and Kelly Racing pair Andre Heimgartner and Rick Kelly.
Penrite Racing team-mates David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale ran ninth and 10th late, but both fell backwards in the dying stages.
Fabian Coulthard started 11th and held that spot until lap nine, when a tangle with De Pasquale sent the Shell Ford into a spin at Turn 4. Coulthard could only recover to 18th, narrowly avoiding being lapped by his race-winning team-mate but still hold second in the Championship.
Teams will now turn their attention to the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend in South Australia, which runs from 23-25 August.