Holden veteran Craig Lowndes has claimed victory in Saturday’s co-driver Supercars sprint race at Sandown.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver jumped Ford’s Alex Premat at the start of the 60km, 20-lap event and never looked back despite a heavy shower in the middle of the race.
Youngster Will Brown, driving alongside Anton De Pasquale in a Penrite Racing Commodore, finished second in an impressive drive that included a mid-race pass of veteran Garth Tander for second-place.
Tander, sharing driving duties with Shane Van Gisbergen this weekend, came home third.
It’s Lowndes’ 109th career Supercars race win.
Premat, who had been put at the front of the grid by co-driver Scott McLaughlin’s qualifying effort, bogged his DJR Team Penske Mustang at the start line and eventually finished sixth.
Nissan’s Bryce Fullwood came fourth despite completing a 360-degree spin on the 3.1km circuit during the mid-race downpour.
Saturday’s results not only give the co-drivers and teams championship points but sets the grid for a second 60km race featuring primary drivers.
It means Jamie Whincup will start from pole in the race which will also determine the grid for Sunday’s 500km endurance event.
De Pasquale will begin from second with Van Gisbergen and Andre Heimgartner forming the second-row of the grid.
McLaughlin holds a 463-point championship lead over Van Gisbergen and will be eager to extend that margin when he starts from sixth position.
Ford’s Chaz Mostert however will have to start from the back of the grid after co-driver James Moffat failed to finish following contact with Tickford Racing stablemate Tim Randle.
Saturday’s second race starts at 5.20pm.