James Courtney won Ford’s first race of the V8 Supercar season at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The Dick Johnson Racing driver made the most of a mistake by Holden’s Garth Tander to seal the victory in the non-championship 13-lap sprint race at the Albert Park street circuit.
Tander, who claimed pole position ahead of Courtney earlier, had led from the start of the race but made a crucial error midway through the 11th lap to hand the initiative to the Ford man.
Another Ford, that of New Zealand’s Shane van Gisbergen, came in third ahead of TeamVodafone pair Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.
While the win does not bring any championship points, it marks an important moment for Ford given Holdens have won all six previous races in 2010.
Aside from Tander’s lapse in concentration which handed Courtney victory, the only other moment of note from the first of the weekend’s three non-competition races involved Holden’s Rick Kelly on the opening lap.
Starting fourth on the grid, Kelly shot wide outside Courtney at the race start only to spear off-track at the first corner.
His race quickly got worse as his Jack Daniel’s Racing Commodore spun off the track later in the opening lap to send him to the back of the field, eventually finishing 24th.
The V8 Supercar action at Albert Park continues on Saturday with another 13-lap race from 6.15pm (AEDT).