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Preview: Sandown 500

Sandown 500 Fast Facts

  • Welcome to the season of endurance! The V8 Supercars field and their co-drivers will again be fighting it out for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup after Craig took home the inaugural title last year.
  • This year’s Sandown 500 knocks up a couple of milestones. Firstly, it brings up 50 years since the first touring car endurance classic at Sandown Raceway in 1964. Secondly, and most importantly if you ask us, it marks 20 years since Lowndesy’s first appearance in a V8 Supercar as a fresh faced 20-year-old.
  • The 2003 Sandown 500 was Triple Eight’s first race in V8 Supercars and since then the pre-Bathurst 500km race has been held at Sandown eight times. From 2008 to 2011 it was held at Phillip Island.
  • Mr Lowndes has graced the podium at every single 500km race he’s driven in with Triple Eight, so that’s every year from 2005, when he won with Frenchman Yvan Muller, through to last year. They don’t call him an enduro expert for nothing.
  • Jamie is paired with Paul “The CEO” Dumbrell for the third consecutive year, who will hopefully help the five-time series champ to his 100th V8 Supercars front row start in Saturday’s two not-for-points qualifying races.

 

 

RBRA at the Sandown 500

CRAIG/LUFFY JAMIE/PD
Qualifying 5th 1st
Qualifying Race 1 5th 1st
Qualifying Race 2 3rd 2nd
Race 2nd 1st

 

 

What the Drivers Say

Lowndesy: “I’m really looking forward to Sandown. It’s a time of the year that I thoroughly enjoy. We had a good test and we ended up reasonably on top of things. I think that Steve and I are very comfortable in the car. The way he drives it and reads the car is very similar to me.

“When we get to Sandown, we’ve obviously got to look at the conditions of the weather and the circuit and really make sure that we get the car set up to what we really need. Sandown is a high attrition rate circuit, it’s very hard on brakes, but we know how to win there.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and then of course that leads into what I classify as the biggest race of the year, which is the Bathurst 1000, but first I’m looking forward to debuting the brand new car at Sandown.”

J-Dub: “I always enjoy going to Sandown, I’ve got a lot of respect for the place. It absolutely reeks with history, there’s been so much motorsport there over so many years. It’s just a really iconic place that’s a really important part of our championship.

“It’s a 500km race and I cringe when people say it’s a warm-up for Bathurst. It’s a standalone, awesome event over a gruelling three and a half hours, generally with variable weather. It was the highlight of my year last year and, with the new car, it was part of one of the best stories I’ve been involved with.

“I’ve got great memories but that means nothing rolling into this weekend. We’ll just put our best foot forward and if we can stay out of trouble I feel that’s the most critical thing this weekend and surviving to the end. If can we can do that then we’ll do well to get a top five finish.”

 

Drivers Championship Standings

Jamie Whincup – 2,025

Mark Winterbottom – 1,890

Craig Lowndes – 1,812

James Courtney – 1,778

Fabian Coulthard – 1,712

Teams Championship Standings

RBRA – 3,887

FPR – 3,417

HRT – 3,142

BJR – 3,041

Norton Hornets – 2,473