After an engaging battle between the two top teams in the Australian Manufacturers Championship, Garry Holt and Nathan Morcom came up trumps in the first 200km heat at Wakefield Park.
Dylan Thomas' CXC Global Mitsubishi Lancer had led the race by 20s with 10 laps remaining before a mechanical failure turned him into a spectator.
Following a close battle in the opening laps, Holt powered away to an early lead before Morcom had a spin in the leading car just a few laps into his stint following the compulsory pit stop.
The spin – and an additional moment where he ran wide into the dirt – dropped them to second, however Thomas' horrible luck this season struck again within sight of the flag and the Eastern Creek Karts team were best placed to capitalise.
Morcom even had enough time for a splash and go fuel stop with three laps remaining to ensure they made the flag.
They won the race by more than a lap with father and son team Robert and Shane Marshall second and Luke Searle's brand new BMW M135 third in a strong debut performance at the highest level despite making two stops to his rivals one.
Turbo dramas struck the Beric Lynton BMW 1M as just 10 cars finished the gruelling encounter – with another to follow tomorrow afternoon.
Searle won the Class B battle, with brothers Mike and Scott Gore winning class C in their BMW 135i.
Jake Williams (Honda Integra) edged out the Pedders Racing Toyota 86 by less than 30 seconds in the class D battle – a long driver change potentially costing the Toyota team their maiden class win. Kevin Herben took out class E.
After earlier taking a narrow pole position by less than 0.1 seconds, Neale Muston won both of today's Radical Australia Cup sprint races.
Returning RAC competitor Tim Berryman pushed the champion hard in both races and actually led the first 12-lapper for four laps, before Muston was able to squeeze his way past.
The pair traded fastest laps in the second race though Muston led lights-to-flag to take two from two prior to tomorrow's 50-minute endurance race that is also the season finale' for the sports car class.
Haggarty tried valiantly to pass Smith and it was only a mighty lunge into the final corner that got the job done.
Talbot – who is battling the advances of Haggarty in the SR3 class battle – won the second sprint race to level the scores ahead of tomorrow's enduro.
Luke Fraser won the first of three races to be contested this weekend by the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series, driving away from the pacey Shannons Nationals-supported driver Callan Sayers and ‘Captain' Rob Jarvis, in third.
Fraser won the 14-lap affair by a comfortable four seconds. Defending champion Allan Jarvis and Ben Grice battled for fourth and fifth positions, eventually finishing in that order.
The Swifts return for a further two 14-lap races tomorrow.
Action continues tomorrow with all of the racing to be streamed live via www.thenationals.com.au