The return of limited mixed tyre allocations for the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown made for another intriguing weekend of Supercars action.
A pre-round call was made to focus attention on the overall weekend points haul, with the Triple Crown Trophy awarded on the round result.
Jamie Whincup proved the big winner, pipping Fabian Coulthard for the major honour by virtue of his higher placing in the final race.
It marked a major recovery for the seven-time champion, whose troubled Saturday included a crash in Practice 2 and an unsafe pit release penalty in the race that left him 17th.
Scott McLaughlin also recovered from a self-confessed ‘rookie mistake’ on Saturday to be third for the round, losing just six points to nearest title rival Whincup.
Shane van Gisbergen meanwhile completed a Red Bull Holden Racing Team and Shell V-Power Racing sweep of the top four slots in the overall Darwin result.
Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert was the best of the rest in fifth, having also recovered from a bad start to the weekend.
The #25 Commodore started Saturday’s race 20th after a tailshaft failure in qualifying, but finished inside the top 10 in each race.
Mark Winterbottom was a solid sixth for Team 18’s IRWIN Racing, ahead of Penrite Racing duo Anton De Pasquale and David Reynolds.
De Pasquale had led the weekend points ahead of the finale, but struggled to 23rd in that race having elected to re-use his already worn soft rubber.
It was a far from ideal weekend for Supercars’ two four-car teams: Tickford Racing and Brad Jones Racing.
Having been highly competitive at Adelaide and Sydney, Tickford’s best driver for the round was James Courtney in ninth, largely thanks to his second in the Saturday race.
Teammate Cameron Waters’ completed the 10, with Sydney race winner Jack Le Brocq 13th and Lee Holdsworth 14th.
BJR’s disastrous Saturday put them on the back foot - Nick Percat ending up as the team’s best performer in 15th.
Macauley Jones paid heavily for his Saturday DNF, taking the lowest tally of points from the round.
It wasn’t much nicer a time for Walkinshaw Andretti United rookie Bryce Fullwood on his first home event, managing just 21st for the round.
Supercars will return to Hidden Valley Raceway next weekend for the CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint, where only soft tyres will be in play.
BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown round points
1. Jamie Whincup 228
2. Fabian Coulthard 228
3. Scott McLaughlin 222
4. Shane van Gisbergen 214
5. Chaz Mostert 204
6. Mark Winterbottom 192
7. Anton De Pasquale 188
8. David Reynolds 174
9. James Courtney 174
10. Cameron Waters 164
11. Scott Pye 150
12. Andre Heimgartner 146
13. Jack Le Brocq 142
14. Lee Holdsworth 140
15. Nick Percat 136
16. Rick Kelly 136
17. Chris Pither 130
18. Garry Jacobson 108
19. Jack Smith 108
20. Alex Davison 96
21. Bryce Fullwood 94
22. Todd Hazelwood 94
23. Jake Kostecki 68
24. Macauley Jones 58