The No.1 Red Bull Holden dominated proceedings at the Sandown 500 today, Jamie and PD leading from start to finish, becoming the first pairing since 1996 to win the race from pole position.
Paul got the jump off the line and before long had stretched his lead to 16 seconds over the car behind. A safety car due to track damage closed the field back up, but that wasn’t enough to hold the charging Commodore back, regaining a similar gap before handing it over to JDub.
“Our day was pretty straight forward which was perfect for us,” said Jamie. “Paul handed it over with a good lead and even when we had a safety car there was a bit of lapped traffic between us and the Holden Racing Team which worked in our favour.
Meanwhile, Richo had steered the No.888 car through the pack, having initially dropped to ninth at the start, handing it over to Lonwdesy who entered the race in fourth position, where he eventually finished despite an epic battle with the Holden Racing Team car of Garth Tander in the dying laps.
“Steve and I worked really well together today and he likes the car set up the same fashion as I do so that’s definitely an upside,” said Craig.
“I suppose the downside was we just didn’t have the race pace that we were after. Jamie and Paul’s car was better than ours today so they were able to sprint when they needed to and conserve when they needed to so that’s something we’ll be working on.
“I’m off to the Singapore Grand Prix this week to go check it all out and then the great thing is we’ll be coming back to the Bathurst 1000 as second in the championship.”
Though the eventual gap across the line between Jamie and Car 22 of James Courtney was just over three seconds, the dominance of the No.1 Holden throughout the last two days has been indisputable.
“It was quite close at the very end and we were all pushing right to the finish line. That’s the story with the Car of the Future, now it all comes down to a few tenths and the battle goes on behind the scenes to make the cars as fast as possible,” Jamie continued.
“I always enjoy coming to Sandown and we got the balance right so it made for a really enjoyable weekend. We’re also glad to hear that Lee Holdsworth got out of his huge accident safely.”
Red Bull Racing Australia come out of Sandown first and second in the championship. Next stop, Bathurst!