Paul Dumbrell has taken a comfortable victory in the opening race of Round 5 of the Dunlop Super2 Series at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore driver gapped the field in the early stages and never looked back, while Anton de Pasquale (Paul Morris Motorsport FGX Falcon) finished second and debutant Richie Stanaway (Prodrive Racing Australia FGX Falcon) third.
Dumbrell made a strong start but pole-sitter Garry Jacobson (Prodrive Racing Australia FGX Falcon) bogged down and plummeted to eighth.
De Pasquale and Super2 Stanaway squeezed through Turn 1 together to fill the second and third places as Jacobson lost another position by the end of the opening lap.
Dumbrell cleared out to a 1.6s lead through the first two laps and while de Pasquale temporarily pegged a few tenths back, then closed in further at the end, he was not ever a major threat.
Stanaway ran a lonely race to third in his first outing in Super2, but he and de Pasquale will come under investigation regarding the end of race procedure after they both filed into pit lane instead of just the race winner.
Jack Le Brocq (MW Motorsport Altima) finished fourth, managing to hold out the recovering Jacobson at the end of the 18-lap race.
Jacobson had taken advantage of the slipstreaming opportunity afforded by a strong headwind on Brabham Straight on several occasions, but couldn’t find a way past Le Brocq despite even pushing him through Turn 2 on Lap 16.
Macauley Jones (Brad Jones Racing VF Commodore) took sixth and Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing VF Commodore) gained net two positions to finish seventh, with Andrew Jones (Brad Jones Racing VF Commodore), Shae Davies (MW Motorsport Altima), and Kurt Kostecki (Kostecki Brothers Racing VF Commodore) rounding out the top 10.
Richard Muscat, whose Garry Rogers Motorsport VF Commodore was seemingly struck by an engine issue, finished 11th.
Will Brown (Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore), like Jacobson, made a tardy start and dropped from third on the grid to ninth before ultimately passing the chequered flag in 12th.
Dumbrell’s win closes the gap to Hazelwood at the top of the series, with three more races still to come this weekend.
Saturday will feature two of those, both 18 lappers, starting at 1250 and 1510 AEST/local time.
Results to follow