Prodrive scores one-two in Sandown 500

Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen celebrate victory at the Wilson Security Sandown 500

Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen celebrate victory at the Wilson Security Sandown 500

Mark Winterbottom fended off team-mate Chaz Mostert to lead a one-two finish for Prodrive Racing Australia in an intense Wilson Security Sandown 500.

The Winterbottom/Steve Owen entry took the flag narrowly ahead of the Chaz Mostert/Cameron Waters sister car, extending Winterbottom’s championship lead in the process.

The result is the second Sandown 500 win for Winterbottom and the first one-two in an endurance race for Prodrive.

Holden combinations Shane van Gisbergen/Jonathon Webb and Garth Tander/Warren Luff were third and fourth respectively, with the David Reynolds/Dean Canto Ford completing the top five.

Red Bull’s Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Holden led the majority of the race before a dire fuel equation saw the team elect to pit with 50 laps to go, committing to an extra stop.

Any hopes of recovery were then quashed when Whincup was back into the pits with a puncture just moments later, resigning the two-time defending winners to an eventual 15th place finish.

Fuel was a major factor in the back half of the race, with the first Safety Car on lap 75 – caused by an off from Alex Buncombe – throwing planned four-stop strategies into serious question.

A subsequent second yellow on lap 131, this time for debris, then eased the pressure on economy for many of the front-runners, allowing them to make it home without an extra splash.

The two Prodrive Fords had waged their own race-within-a-race throughout the day under the ever present threat of a Safety Car forcing them to double-stack in the pits, which would have destroyed the trailing car’s race.

A slow start saw Waters drop from third to fourth behind Dumbrell, Owen and Webb, before the #6 ran a long first stint and took on extra fuel at its first stop.

Rejoining 10th as a result, Waters charged back through to fourth in his second stint and, with a shorter second stop, managed to leap-frog the Owen/Winterbottom entry.

The timing of the lap 75 Safety Car then proved a stroke of luck as Winterbottom was able to dive in as the yellow was called, while Mostert continued for another lap at full speed before making his stop and rejoining still ahead.

The positions of the #6 and the #5 would be reversed again, however, on lap 110, when Mostert lost out to Winterbottom while trying to take second from Van Gisbergen.

Winterbottom then jumped the Tekno Holden during the final round of stops with little under 40 laps to run, combining with Whincup’s misfortune to see the #5 Ford take the lead for the first time all race.

Mostert would stay behind Van Gisbergen until the Kiwi made a mistake with 30 to go but, despite the subsequent Safety Car allowing him to close the gap to Winterbottom, there would be no late heroics.

Outside the top five, the Tim Slade/Tony D’Alberto and Lee Holdsworth/Sebastien Bourdais Walkinshaw crews proved solid throughout on the way to sixth and seventh respectively.

Tim Blanchard and Karl Reindler scored an outstanding eighth for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, while Jack Perkins/Russell Ingall and Rick Kelly/David Russell were rewarded with ninth and 10th respectively.

Scott Pye fought through to 12th after Marcos Ambrose dropped to the back off the line having erroneously attempted the start in neutral.

Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards never truly recovered from their rear-of-grid start, also committing to five stops during the mid-race scramble for economy on their way to 13th.

Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat were 14th after dropping a lap early with a bungled pitstop that saw the car leave its bay with the air spike still attached.

Andre Heimgartner had been the only primary driver to start the race, combining with Ant Pedersen to eventually finish 17th.

Will and Alex Davison ran in the top 10 for the majority of the day until mechanical issues sent the #9 Erebus Mercedes to the garage.

The Nick Percat/Oliver Gavin Holden was the only retirement, falling foul of steering failure.

Result: V8 Supercars Wilson Security Sandown 500 Race 24  

1 Pepsi Max Crew M.Winterbottom/S.Owen Ford Falcon FG/X 161 03:19:48.9226
2 Pepsi Max Crew C.Mostert/C.Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 161 03:19:49.5822
3 Team Darrell Lea STIX S.Van Gisbergen/J.Webb Holden Commodore VF 161 03:19:58.5801
4 Holden Racing Team G.Tander/W.Luff Holden Commodore VF 161 03:19:58.8497
5 The Bottle-O Racing Team D.Reynolds/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 161 03:20:00.0403
6 Supercheap Auto Racing T.Slade/T.D’Alberto Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:02.1061
7 Walkinshaw Racing L.Holdsworth/S.Bourdais Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:05.9342
8 Team Cooldrive T.Blanchard/K.Reindler Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:08.7992
9 Holden Racing Team J.Perkins/R.Ingall Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:09.6809
10 Nissan Motorsport R.Kelly/D.Russell Nissan Altima 161 03:20:10.8609
11 Nissan Motorsport M.Caruso/D.Fiore Nissan Altima 161 03:20:14.3873
12 DJR Team Penske S.Pye/M.Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 161 03:20:14.8043
13 Red Bull Racing Australia C.Lowndes/S.Richards Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:15.3193
14 Wilson Security Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/A.Premat Volvo S60 161 03:20:15.9066
15 Red Bull Racing Australia J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:16.7108
16 Freightliner Racing F.Coulthard/L.Youlden Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:16.7203
17 Super Black Racing A.Heimgartner/A.Pedersen Ford Falcon FG/X 161 03:20:17.4944
18 Nissan Motorsport J.Moffat/T.Douglas Nissan Altima 161 03:20:20.6759
19 Erebus Motorsport V8 A.Walsh/J.Le Brocq Mercedes E63 AMG 161 03:20:25.6484
20 GB Galvanizing Racing D.Wood/M.Jones Holden Commodore VF 161 03:20:28.9665
21 Wilson Security Racing GRM D.Wall/C.Pither Volvo S60 160 03:20:28.7619
22 Team BOC J.Bright/A.Jones Holden Commodore VF 160 03:20:29.5701
23 Erebus Motorsport V8 W.Davison/A.Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 154 03:20:37.8568
24 Nissan Motorsport T.Kelly/A.Buncombe Nissan Altima 147 03:20:42.0044
DNF Repair Management Aust Racing Oliver Gavin Holden Commodore VF  18    53:32.4435

Championship Standings

1 Mark Winterbottom 2215
2 Chaz Mostert 2017
3 David Reynolds 1855
4 Craig Lowndes 1792
5 Fabian Coulthard 1694
6 Garth Tander 1634
7 Shane van Gisbergen 1620
8 Jamie Whincup 1586
9 James Courtney 1373
10 Rick Kelly 1301
11 Scott McLaughlin 1212
12 Tim Slade 1198
13 Michael Caruso 1186
14 Jason Bright 1125
15 Lee Holdsworth 1104
16 Will Davison 1081
17 Todd Kelly 1026
18 James Moffat 950
19 Scott Pye 927
20 Andre Heimgartner 900
21 Nick Percat 896
22 Tim Blanchard 861
23 Dale Wood 809
24 David Wall 774
25 Ash Walsh 645
26 Steve Owen 300
27 Jack Perkins 288
28 Cameron Waters 276
29 Marcos Ambrose 263
30 Jonathon Webb 258
31 Warren Luff 240
32 Dean Canto 222
33 Tony D’Alberto 204
34 Sebastien Bourdais 192
35 Karl Reindler 180
36 Russel Ingall 168
37 David Russell 156
38 Dean Fiore 144
39 Steven Richards 132
40 Alex Premat 126
41 Paul Dumbrell 120
42 Luke Youlden 114
43 Ant Pedersen 108
44 Taz Douglas 102
45 Jack Le Brocq 96
46 Macauley Jones 90
47 Chris Pither 84
48 Andrew Jones 78
49 Alex Davison 72
50 Alex Buncombe 66
51 Oliver Gavin 0

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