Tander/Luff win thrilling Sandown 500

Sunday 18th September, 2016 - 5:12pm

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Tander leads Van Gisbergen to the flag

Tander leads Van Gisbergen to the flag

Garth Tander has broken a 72 race winless streak by taking victory alongside Warren Luff in a highly entertaining Wilson Security Sandown 500.

The reigning Pirtek Enduro Cup winners performed faultlessly on a drama filled day where intermittent showers and a time certain finish dictated pit strategy.

Tander held on to take the flag just 0.3s clear of a charging Shane van Gisbergen/Alex Premat Holden after 143 of the scheduled 161 laps.

The HRT Commodore’s front-left guard had blown apart on lap 122 which, while deemed safe by race control, left Tander struggling for speed in the dying laps.

The win is veteran Tander’s maiden Sandown 500 triumph and his first Supercars race victory since Townsville, 2014.

Will Davison/Jonathon Webb held off Scott McLaughlin/David Wall despite an engine problem to secure the final podium spot, ahead of Chaz Mostert/Steve Owen and Fabian Coulthard/Luke Youlden in the leading Fords.

Second for Van Gisbergen was enough to hand the Kiwi a seven point championship lead on a difficult day for nearest rivals Jamie Whincup (13th), Craig Lowndes (eighth) and Mark Winterbottom (24th).

A lengthy red flag delay following a heavy opening lap crash for James Golding meant the race was always destined to hit its time cut-off, adding to an already complex strategic equation.

Luff put in a sterling performance against his fellow co-drivers at the start, leading the majority of the way through the opening two stints.

The early running took place in dry conditions before a shower dragged the bulk of the field to pitlane for wets on lap 37.

Starting Whincup’s Holden, Paul Dumbrell eventually got the better of Luff just before another downpour saw Dean Canto (in Winterbottom’s Falcon) in the Turn 4 tyre barrier on lap 55, triggering the second Safety Car.

Dumbrell was among a handful not to pit while Luff dived in to hand over to Tander, who rejoined seventh and with a fuel advantage over the Red Bull Holden.

Tander caught Dumbrell in the third stint before the Holdens pitted together for slicks on lap 74 – the HRT Commodore rejoining with a healthy gap thanks to a shorter fill time.

Whincup took over from Dumbrell but quickly saw his race fall apart with a drive-through penalty for his co-driver removing his belts prior to stopping in the pit box.

McLaughlin, who had been among those to shadow the Tander/Luff strategy, then emerged as the HRT’s biggest threat, passing Tander for the lead in the fourth stint.

In an intense battle, McLaughlin, Tander and Van Gisbergen ran line astern before the HRT pulled its driver in on lap 104.

Tander took the lead back when McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen pitted a lap later – McLaughlin dropping to third when he ran off at Turn 1 on his out-lap.

Former champion Tander was able to hold the lead to the end despite the guard issue and the best efforts of Van Gisbergen, who ran out of time to steal the victory.

Further back, Mostert and co-driver Owen scored fifth despite losing time double-stacking behind the Super Black Ford at the lap 55 Safety Car.

Coulthard and Youlden were sixth after an off-sequence strategy required a late final fuel stop while leading.

Seventh for Todd Kelly/Matt Campbell marked a fine debut for the Carrera Cup ace, while Craig Lowndes salvaged eighth after an early mistake from co-driver Steven Richards buried the Caltex Holden back in the pack.

The star co-driver had been Richie Stanaway, who masterfully drove the Super Black Ford up to third in the second stint while on slicks in changeable conditions.

Canto had also been on slicks when he went in the fence, putting Winterbottom’s Ford two laps down in a major blow to the reigning champion’s title hopes.

The Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Commodore of Nick Percat and the returning Cameron McConville finished ninth, while the top 10 was completed by the Rick Kelly/Russell Ingall Nissan.

Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Wilson Security Sandown 500 Race 20

1 Holden Racing Team G.Tander/W.Luff Holden Commodore VF 143 03:30:56.7695
2 Red Bull Racing Australia S.Van Gisbergen/A.Premat Holden Commodore VF 143 03:30:57.1180
3 Team Darrell Lea STIX W.Davison/J.Webb Holden Commodore VF 143 03:31:11.5269
4 Wilson Security Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/D.Wall Volvo S60 143 03:31:12.6851
5 Supercheap Auto Racing C.Mostert/S.Owen Ford Falcon FG/X 143 03:31:13.0808
6 DJR Team Penske F.Coulthard/L.Youlden Ford Falcon FG/X 143 03:31:19.4434
7 carsales Racing T.Kelly/M.Campbell Nissan Altima 143 03:31:22.6153
8 TeamVortex C.Lowndes/S.Richards Holden Commodore VF 143 03:31:30.0998
9 Repair Management Aust Racing N.Percat/C.McConville Holden Commodore VF 143 03:31:32.9141
10 Sengled Motorsport R.Kelly/R.Ingall Nissan Altima 143 03:31:34.2994
11 Holden Racing Team J.Courtney/J.Perkins Holden Commodore VF 143 03:31:35.1290
12 Preston Hire Racing L.Holdsworth/K.Reindler Holden Commodore VF 143 03:31:39.8310
13 Red Bull Racing Australia J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell Holden Commodore VF 143 03:31:39.8380
14 Nissan Motorsport M.Caruso/D.Fiore Nissan Altima 143 03:31:45.5598
15 DJR Team Penske S.Pye/T.D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG/X 142 03:30:58.0490
16 Freightliner Racing T.Slade/A.Walsh Holden Commodore VF 142 03:30:59.4406
17 Super Black Racing C.Pither/R.Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 142 03:31:36.0113
18 GB Galvanizing Racing D.Wood/D.Russell Nissan Altima 142 03:31:43.0332
19 Plus Fitness Racing A.Heimgartner/A.Russell Holden Commodore VF 142 03:31:48.4964
20 Team Cooldrive T.Blanchard/M.Jones Holden Commodore VF 141 03:31:13.6029
21 Team BOC J.Bright/A.Jones Holden Commodore VF 141 03:31:53.2138
22 Erebus Motorsport S.Davies/C.van der Drift Holden Commodore VF 141 03:31:53.7239
23 The Bottle-O Racing Team M.Winterbottom/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 138 03:31:18.7313
DNF Monster Energy Racing C.Waters/J.Le Brocq Ford Falcon FG/X  98 02:37:53.5846
DNF Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Volvo S60
EXC Erebus Motorsport Penrite D.Reynolds/C.Baird Holden Commodore VF

Championship Standings

1 Shane Van Gisbergen 2248
2 Jamie Whincup 2241
3 Crag Lowndes 2091
4 Scott McLaughlin 1989
5 Mark Winterbottom 1902
6 Will Davison 1812
7 Chaz Mostert 1757
8 Garth Tander 1663
9 Michael Caruso 1638
10 Tim Slade 1632
11 James Courtney 1578
12 Fabian Coulthard 1504
13 Rick Kelly 1497
14 Todd Kelly 1441
15 Jason Bright 1233
16 Scott Pye 1180
17 David Reynolds 1090
18 Chris Pither 1033
19 James Moffat 1002
20 Cameron Waters 993
21 Dale Wood 928
22 Nick Percat 896
23 Tim Blanchard 860
24 Andre Heimgartner 797
25 Lee Holsworth 786
26 Aaren Russell 561
27 Warren Luff 300
28 Alex Premat 276
29 Jonathon Webb 258
30 David Wall 240
31 Steve Owen 222
32 Karl Reindler 213
33 Luke Youlden 204
34 Matt Campbell 192
35 Steven Richards 180
36 Cameron McConville 168
37 Russell Ingall 156
38 Jack Perkins 144
39 Paul Dumbrell 132
40 Shae Davies 132
41 Dean Fiore 126
42 Tony D’Alberto 120
43 Ash Walsh 114
44 Richie Stanaway 108
45 Kurt Kostecki 108
46 David Russell 102
47 Macauley Jones 90
48 Andrew Jones 84
49 Chris van der Drift 78
50 Craig Baird 72
51 Dean Canto 72
52 James Golding 0
53 Jack Le Brocq 0

 

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