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Whincup on top for practice at Sandown 500

The dynamic duo’s of Whincup/Dumbrell and Lowndes/Richards took to the track on Friday for the opening practice sessions of the Sandown 500. Today also marks the first day of the PIRTEK Enduro Season and the boys were pumped to get on the circuit and start racing.

The day consisted of an all driver practice session in the morning and two co-driver only practice runs after lunch.

Any doubts JDub had with his new Bull were soon forgotten as he set the fastest lap in the first 30-minute practice with a 1:09.5169. Jamie managed 16 laps and was really pleased with the car after a rough test day last Tuesday was curtailed by a chassis vibration.

Paul Dumbrell also had a good run in car #1  finishing fourth during practice two and eighth in practice three as he logged the miles around Sandown Raceway.

Lowndsey’s opening hit out in his #888 Holden Commodore left plenty of room for improvement with the veteran finishing P23 as he worked on setup options ahead of co-driver Steven Richards’ chance to familiarise himself on track.

Juggling V8 Supercar commitments as well as his regular Carrera Cup drive, Richo built steadily on Craig’s early morning progress to end practice two in P12. He then bettered that effort in the next season finishing P7 with a lap time of 1.09.9684.

Action begins tomorrow at 10:20am local time with a fourth and final practice session followed by qualifying which starts at 12:20pm. TV schedule available here.

 

What they said:

JAMIE WHINCUP / PAUL DUMBRELL

Practice 1: 1st ( Fastest Lap 1:09.5169 ) – JW

Practice 2: 4th (Fastest Lap 1:10.2387) – PD

Practice 3: 8th ( Fastest Lap 1:09.9799 ) – PD

 

Jamie Whincup:

“We came out in the first session here at Sandown taking quite a big risk with the car having had a vibration during the recent test day. On my first lap out the vibration had gone so that was a huge win from the get go. Now we can concentrate on what we should be doing and that’s going quick. The car was thereabouts this morning but we’ve got to make sure we keep improving. We’re trying to make up for a day of lost testing so we really have to accelerate the development in the short time that we have.”

 

Paul Dumbrell:

“It’s always good to get some miles in the car and to get two half-hour sessions is always nice around this place. The car was pretty good…I made a few mistakes out there which wasn’t ideal, but it’s about finding a balance, pushing hard and maximizing the lap time. The vibration in the car has gone so that’s out of our minds now and all the boys are very happy.”

 

CRAIG LOWNDES / STEVEN RICHARDS

Practice 1: 23rd ( Fastest Lap 1:10.5502 ) – CL

Practice 2: 12th (Fastest Lap 1:10.6071 ) – SR

Practice 3: 7th ( Fastest Lap 1:09.9684 ) – SR

 

Craig Lowndes:

“Practice one was a little bit disappointing to be honest. We knew our tyre quality wasn’t going to be that good and the track surface was still a little dirty. During the session we made some adjustments and that improved the car over the session. Our fastest lap time improved but so did everyone else. In saying that the car wasn’t ugly to drive…we managed to make it faster and Richo built on that over his two practice sessions.”

 

Steven Richards:

“I had two practice sessions in car #888 today and we worked on gradually building up its speed and refining our setup. Each session we improved on pace and ended the final practice run ahead of car #1 to finish seventh. Today’s been pretty interesting in terms of juggling my driving duties as I’m racing in the Carrera Cup and for Red Bull Racing Australia in V8 Supercars. The biggest challenge is swapping from right hand drive in the Commodore to left hand drive in the Porsche. At the end of the day it’s all great fun while keeping me on my toes!”