HOLDEN DOMINATES THE SANDOWN 500
The Holden Commodore has dominated today’s Sandown 500 filling all three podium spots with Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell powering the #1 Red Bull Holden to a commanding victory.
Today’s win is the fifth consecutive victory for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team as the ZB Commodore Supercar continues to stamp it’s authority on the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
“We couldn’t be happier, the car has been awesome all weekend and PD [Paul Dumbrell] did a fantastic job,” Whincup said.
“We just kept our heads down and we kept concentrating. This race has got away from us a few times but thankfully it was a nice clean race today.
“Compared to the rest of the field the ZB Commodore was extremely quick today, it’s a quick thing and there’s been a lot going on [with development of the ZB Supercar] behind the scenes, especially in the last three months, so it’s a credit to everyone at the team, the hard work that has gone into this win.
Teammates Shane van Gisbergen and Earl Bamber picked up second with a superb drive from 11th on the grid with Craig Lowndes and Steve Richards claiming the final podium spot to make it a 1-2-3 clean sweep by Triple Eight in this opening round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
The result for Van Gisbergen sees him extend his lead in the Supercars drivers’ championship to 55 points over fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin.
Other notable results for the first endurance race of the season were David Reynolds and Luke Youlden who powered their Erebus Pentire Holden home in fifth while the #2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Commodore of Scott Pye and Warren Luff put in a solid drive to secure sixth place today.
“We had a fast car today, so anytime you can can actually race whether it’s first or fifth, it’s good fun and coming out of here we’ve got a lot of confidence, and it might not be a win or podium, but it’s a solid start to the Euduros so we on for a good one.” Pye said.
In their Retro racer the #33 Wilson Security GRM Commodore of Garth Tander and Chris Pither put in a strong drive to claim a top-10 finish despite being spun around on the opening lap of race.
On Saturday two Holden Commodore Supercars locked out the front row of the grid for the Sandown 500 with the Erebus Penrite duo of David Reynolds and Luke Youlden scoring pole.
Claiming the second grid spot after a superb drive was the Red Bull Holden pairing of Whincup/Dumbrell, with Whincup driving the Commodore Supercar on rails, almost claiming pole in the dying laps, only for Reynolds to hold out the 7-time Supercars Champion by a mere 0.23 seconds.
Earlier in the day, hail descended on Sandown Raceway causing mayhem for the co-drivers qualifying race with half the field coming in to pit for wets and the others remaining out on slicks, gambling on the length of the small storm cell. As such the session was turned on its head and saw a mixed results sheet and a varied grid start for the main-drivers qualifying race.
Round 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship takes crews to the holy grail of Australian Motorsport, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from October 4-7.