There were no thoughts in Jamie Whincup's mind of his controversial Tasmanian clash with Red Bull Racing teammate Craig Lowndes as they fought toe-to-toe for the win in race 23 at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 this afternoon.
Back in March at Symmons Plains an aggressive Whincup passing attempt ended with Lowndes' Holden Commodore VF off the road and the two drivers meeting in the team transporter post-race to patch up any differences and race on.
This time round Whincup took the lead on lap 22 when Lowndes bobbled coming on to the Queensland Raceway's main straight, Lowndes reasserted himself in turn 2 and then Whincup out-braked him into turn 3 and raced off to a 4.5 sec win.
"There's no team orders, we raced hard and fair and I hope people enjoyed it," the defending champion told v8supercars.com.au. "He had an issue coming on to the straight, then I run a bit deep into 1 and he got me back and then I had a lunge back into 3 and happy days.
"It was hard and fair, Tassie is well and truly behind us. We want to race."
Whincup predicted Lowndes would fight back in this afternoon's second 100km race.
"I certainly had the quickest car then so I am sure he will tune it up for the next one, but I was coming through."
With Championship leader Mark Winterbottom finishing sixth, the gap between the bitter rivals has dropped to just 72 points.
"There is a long way to go, we have come from a long way back," said Whincup, who has won five of the last seven championship races. "We are chipping away, we are in contention, we are in a good place at the moment."
Whincup starts Race 24 from third on the grid with Lowndes alongside him. Volvo Polestar Racing's young gun Scotty McLaughlin is on pole in his S60 with Michael Caruso second in his Norton Hornet Nisan Altima.
McLaughlin, who finished third in race 23 despite struggling towards the end as his soft tyres faded, said he was confident of holding off the Red Bulls next time round.
"We are in a good position for the next one," he said. "It is definitely easier to lead a race around here than be behind them and try and pass them."