The Merlin Darwin Triple Crown opener began in high drama, with front-row starters Anton De Pasquale and Mark Winterbottom both implicated.
A chaotic start to the race Winterbottom's IRWIN Racing Commodore ZB lose power as he grabbed second gear.
Starting third, Shane van Gisbergen shadowed De Pasquale on the run to Turn 1, and forced the pole-sitter to defend.
In response to another move from van Gisbergen, De Pasquale left the door ajar, and the series leader made his move.
Hung out wide, De Pasquale was turned by Pye, with the #11 Shell Ford hit by Winterbottom.
The contact flung De Pasquale into the path of the pack, with Todd Hazelwood worst affected following front to front contact.
Hazelwood’s teammate Jack Smith, and Team Sydney duo Fabian Coulthard and Garry Jacobson were also involved.
It triggered a six-lap intervention by the BP Ultimate Safety Car, with van Gisbergen assuming the lead ahead of Nick Percat and Chaz Mostert.