Image credit: RadioNZ.

Jamie Whincup claimed his first victory since August, as the Red Bull Racing driver dominated the first race at Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Whincup lead from start to finish to claim victory by five seconds, the only interruption being caused by the safety car coming out on lap five.

The caution was caused by debris being sprawled across the track due to a number of incidents on the first lap.

The biggest of those caused by Tim Slade. The Walkinshaw Racing driver punting Will Davidson round at turn six, leading to Fabian Coulthard collecting Davidson and ending the Erebus Mercedes drivers race.

When the race resumed on lap eight Whincup came under pressure from second place David Reynolds.

Reynolds made his move at the turn eight hairpin, but locked up and ran deep meaning Shane Van Gisbergen was able to capitalise and take second place.

While Reynolds was able to match van Gisbergen’s pace he wasn’t able to challenge meaning the top three remained ‘as-is’ for the remainder of the race.

Pye who was struggling with rear breaks locked up at the at the turn six chicane, meaning the DJR Team Penske driver gained an advantage and was forced to give the position up.

Michael Caruso finished the highest place Nissan in sixth place ahead of championship leader Mark Winterbottom.

Scott McLaughlin finished in a factory Holden sandwich, with James Courtney in eighth, and Garth Tander climbing seven places to finish in 10th.

Charlie Price