Whincup continued this good form into the race itself, getting a much better start than David Reynolds, who lined up alongside the Red Bull Holden driver on the front row. From then on in Whincup was able to keep a good lead of a few seconds, with everything falling into place as it should.
Elsewhere, Will Davison was also having a good race, brilliantly fending off a challenge from Chas Mostert on cold tyres after making a pit stop. Davison finished fifth.
Out front Whincup took his 11th win on the streets of Adelaide, with Scott McLaughlin second and Shane van Gisbergen rounding out the podium.
The roles were reversed at Red Bull Holden for Race 2, with Van Gisbergen having a better top-ten shootout. The Kiwi took the pole with countryman McLaughlin starting in second.
It was McLaughlin who got the better start, with the DJR Team Penske driver leading into Turn 1, a difficult thing to do off the outside of the grid.
Things were not so rosy at Penrite Racing as Reynolds and Anton de Pasquale made contact at the Turn 9 hairpin, with De Pasquale spinning round. Reynolds picked up a drive-through penalty for this incident.
McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen pitted on the same lap. McLaughlin had the chance to stay ahead, with the DJR Team Penske pit box being at the end of the pit lane. However, nobody kept an eye on the guys at Red Bull Holden, who released Van Gisbergen before McLaughlin, switching the order.
The race was now swinging Van Gisbergen’s way, but the momentum wouldn’t last.
Red Bull Holden messed up Van Gisbergen’s second stop badly. The No. 97 car was significantly underfuelled and would need to pit again to get the fuel up to the required level.
If things couldn’t get any worse for Van Gisbergen, he then had car troubles. It had all started so well for him, but his race ended at the side of the road on the back straight.
McLaughlin took the win ahead of Chas Mostert in second, who took his first podium for Walkinshaw Andretti United, with Cameron Waters in third.
The championship standings see McLaughlin hold a 27-point lead over Whincup. In the teams championship DJR Team Penske lead Tickford Racing by 48 points.
This weekend’s racing at Sydney Motorsport Park will start to answer a few of the unanswered questions from when the series was left on a cliff hanger before the shutdown. It looks close between Red Bull Holden and DJR Team Penske, and there are plenty of narratives up and down the grid to unfold from now until December.
The cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix and the subsequent postponement of the 2020 Formula One world championship still carries a sense of disbelief, given how quickly things unravelled in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, while on the ground at Albert Park on Friday the 13th.