Matt Payne makes strategy pay as Will Brown hits the wall

Matt Payne made a three-stop strategy pay off in impressive fashion to secure a second career win in the Supercars series as points leader Will Brown suffered a nightmare in race two in Townsville.

Qualifying for the race had seen Jack Le Brocq edge race one winner Cam Waters for a first career pole position, with James Courtney and Thomas Randle sharing row two and Payne back in tenth, whilst points leader Brown would again fail to make it into the top ten shootout.

That would prove to be critical for the Triple Eight driver on the opening lap when he was tipped sideways into the wall after contact with David Reynolds – forcing him to make a stop that dropped him off the lead lap and consigned him to a last place finish as all 24 drivers made it to the flag.

Waters held the lead in the early stages of the race after Le Brocq was slow away from the line to drop back to fourth behind both Randle and a fast-starting Will Davison, with Payne back in the pack from his fifth row start.

The Grove Motorsport man would be the first person to elect to stop as he committed to a three-stop strategy and it meant he then cycled through to the lead of the race as others came in to stop for the first time.

That would prove to be the key moment as Payne was then able to remain towards front through the remainder of the race, only ceding position during the pitstops and quickly cycling himself back into the lead to secure a first victory of the campaign by the relatively comfortable margin of six seconds.

The fight for second would ultimately come down to Waters for Mostert, as it had done for the victory in the opening race on Saturday.

Mostert had shadowed Payne in going with a three-stop strategy which allowed him to work his way up from eight on the grid, but Waters stuck with making two stops to earn track position going into the final stages.

On fresher rubber, Mostert closed in on his former team-mate in the final stages but Waters was able to fend him off to secure the spot and a cap a strong weekend in the Tickford Racing Ford, with Mostert settling for third.

Start aside, Le Brocq enjoyed a solid race to take fourth place as the only Chevrolet driver in the top six ahead of Randle and Ryan Wood, with the top eight being completed by Broc Feeney and Mark Winterbottom.

Feeney had also brushed the wall early on in what proved to be a race to forget for Triple Eight, but the dramas for Brown means the gap between the pair at the top has been cut from 141 points to 78.