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Broc Feeney wins Bathurst opener

After leading every session at Bathurst so far, Red Bull Ampol Racing has continued to dominate proceedings as Broc Feeney led a 1-2 ahead of Will Brown.

An undercut strategy allowed Feeney to elevate into the lead ahead of pole sitter and teammate Brown as Mobil 1 Optus Racing’s Chaz Mostert completed the podium in the lead Ford Mustang.

Poor starts from both the Red Bull Ampol Racing Camaros opened it up for Mostert and Matt Stone Racing’s Cameron Hill, however the duo were unable behind were boxed in expertly.

Early drama afflicted Nulon PremiAir Racing’s James Golding as he failed to get off the line following his Top 10 Shootout performance.

Worse faced debutant Ryan Wood after contact in the midfield forced the Mobil 1 NTI Racing Ford Mustang into the Hell Corner gravel trap.

The safety car was called and Brown on the restart led away extended the margin to 1.2s as just seven laps into the race TRADIE Racing elected to bring in David Reynolds beginning the first pit stop sequence.

Brown pitted four laps later as Feeney was kept out and a shorter stop contributed to the pair switching positions leaving Hill in the lead.

A mistake from Hill at Hell Corner dropped him back to seventh in the order once he stopped as new teammate Nick Percat ran long to enter the lane near the halfway mark.

Once the order was corrected, Feeney led from Brown, Mostert, Reynolds, Stanaway, Hazelwood and Hill, who had Middy’s Racing driver Bryce Fullwood for company.

Just as rookie Aaron Love met the wall at The Cutting, Reynolds was under pressure from Stanaway, then Hazelwood and Hill as he struggled for pace. The Love incident sparked the second round of stops as Brown was called to the lane.

Feeney remained out and held Brown at bay once both had pitted as the order remained the same, except for Reynolds as he dropped to ninth.

A Full Course Yellow was deployed for the first time when Cam Waters’ weekend went from bad to worse when a wheel departed at Griffin’s Bend causing minor chaos when the leaders arrived, particularly for Mostert.

Love reenacted his crash from earlier at The Cutting on lap 37, but this time the damage was too much to limp around to pit lane, the race ending under safety car.

Feeney took the first win of the season from Brown, Mostert, Stanaway, Hill, Percat, Fullwood, Reynolds, Andre Heimgartner in a superb drive for R&J Batteries Racing and Matt Payne in the Penrite Racing Mustang.

Hazelwood was 11th from Mark Winterbottom, Jack Le Brocq, Thomas Randle, James Courtney and Will Davison as the Shell V-Power Racing Team endured a tough season opener as Anton De Pasquale was 21st.

Qualifying for Race 2 starts Sunday’s action at 9:30am AEDT.