Whincup earns pole for Sandown 500, SVG fails to finish

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has put his Red Bull HRT entry on Armor All Pole Position for the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 as team-mate Shane van Gisbergen took himself out of Race 29.

Whincup led the primary driver sprint from start to finish after his co-driver Craig Lowndes had done the same in Race 28 earlier in the day, while van Gisbergen was a DNF with steering damage having clattered into Anton De Pasquale at the first corner.

Andre Heimgartner finished the 20-lapper in second position, meaning a front row start in tomorrow’s 161-lap enduro for the #7 Plus Fitness Altima.

David Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore) was third, Will Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang) fourth, and Scott McLaughlin (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) fifth.

On a track still wet from earlier rain, Whincup (#888 ZB Commodore) bettered fellow front row starter De Pasquale from the inside of grid as McLaughlin made a strong launch from sixth.

The latter found himself hard up on the left-hand edge of the track and backed out of a move on van Gisbergen as they arrived at the braking zone.

Van Gisbergen, on the other hand, careered into the side of De Pasquale’s #99 ZB Commodore, causing both the Triple Eight and Penrite Racing entries to spin at Turn 1.

Whincup led Heimgartner by 2.2s at the end of the standing lap, with McLaughlin third, De Pasquale 15th, and van Gisbergen seeming struggling to get his damaged #97 ZB Commodore back around the circuit.

Worse was to come for De Pasquale when he was issued the drive-through penalty for the incident, a decision which Driving Standards Advisor Craig Baird would reportedly admit was erroneous, which put him to the back of the field.

Whincup was clearing out by several tenths of a second per lap at the head of the field, and his lead was over seven seconds after 11 laps.

Heimgartner continued to run in second position while Reynolds, who had passed Lee Holdsworth (#5 The Bottle-O Mustang) for fourth at the start of Lap 2, caught McLaughlin by Lap 14.

The championship leader was struggling with excessive tyre pressures and Reynolds made a straightforward pass on #17 at the start of Lap 16.

Davison, who had forced his way past Tickford stablemate Holdsworth a couple of laps earlier, also picked off McLaughlin at Turn 1 on Lap 17.

The field was split almost 50-50 in their choice of wets or slicks, and the former proved clearly faster as that group quickly monopolised the top half of the timing screen.

That also meant that, despite the race being only 20 laps long, the leaders caught the back-markers in the latter stages.

After his advantage had dwindled somewhat, Whincup was over seven seconds ahead again when he took the chequered flag, at which time Reynolds was 2.3s back from Heimgartner, and Davison close behind in fourth.

“We’ve been a little bit hit and miss in the wet this year, we’ve had some good performances and some ones that haven’t been so nice,” said Whincup, who officially collects the Armor All Pole Position along with Lowndes.

“(Engineer David) Cauchi did a great job with the car, the strategy with the tyres. Car was good and yeah, poles have been few and far between this year so we’ll certainly take this one.”

McLaughlin held on to fifth despite heavy pressure from team-mate Fabian Coulthard (#12 Mustang), Holdsworth, a highly impressive Brodie Kostecki (#56 Boost Mobile KBR ZB Commodore), and Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang).

The latter had started last after James Moffat’s clash in the co-driver race, while James Courtney (#22 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10 having been as high as eighth from 18th on the grid.

De Pasquale got home in 13th, the last of those on wets aside from the non-finishing van Gisbergen.

With championship points on offer, McLaughlin is now exactly 500 ahead of van Gisbergen at the head of the standings.

The warm up session for the Sandown 500 takes place tomorrow from 1000 local time/AEDT.

Results: Race 29, Penrite Oil Sandown 500

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 888 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 20 25:47.2796
2 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 20 25:54.6600
3 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 20 25:56.9144
4 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 20 25:57.0124
5 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 20 26:01.3978
6 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 20 26:01.5067
7 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 20 26:02.1857
8 56 Boost Mobile Kostecki Brothers Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 20 26:02.8082
9 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 20 26:02.9204
10 22 Mobil 1 Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 20 26:07.3096
11 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 20 26:13.0955
12 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 20 26:16.7247
13 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 20 26:39.3258
14 6 Monster Energy Racing Team Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 20 26:53.6258
15 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 20 27:00.1505
16 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 20 27:00.5220
17 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 19 25:48.9379
18 8 Fujitsu Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 19 25:56.2640
19 33 Boost Mobile Racing Richie Stanaway Holden Commodore ZB 19 25:59.5400
20 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 19 26:00.5560
21 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 19 26:00.8918
22 3 RABBLE.club Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 19 26:04.7254
23 2 Mobil 1 Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 19 26:09.6032
24 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 19 26:32.7870
DNF 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB

Championship points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 3474
2 Shane van Gisbergen 2974
3 Jamie Whincup 2718
4 Fabian Coulthard 2591
5 David Reynolds 2517
6 Chaz Mostert 2475
7 Cameron Waters 2317
8 Will Davison 2199
9 Nick Percat 2178
10 Lee Holdsworth 2108
11 James Courtney 1947
12 Anton De Pasquale 1849
13 Mark Winterbottom 1836
14 Scott Pye 1795
15 Rick Kelly 1641
16 Tim Slade 1617
17 Andre Heimgartner 1614
18 James Golding 1437
19 Todd Hazelwood 1405
20 Simona De Silvestro 1365
21 Jack Le Brocq 1143
22 Macauley Jones 1133
23 Garry Jacobson 1092
24 Richie Stanaway 924
25 Garth Tander 607
26 Craig Lowndes 578
27 Michael Caruso 573
28 Thomas Randle 517
29 Alexandre Premat 463
30 Warren Luff 447
31 Jack Perkins 428
32 Luke Youlden 422
33 Chris Pither 402
34 Jack Smith 386
35 Tim Blanchard 379
36 Alex Davison 374
37 Dale Wood 342
38 Steven Richards 323
39 Tony D’Alberto 262
40 Jonathon Webb 255
41 Dean Fiore 245
42 Dean Canto 241
43 Richard Muscat 229
44 Alex Rullo 229
45 William Brown 208
46 Ashley Walsh 156
47 Brodie Kostecki 138
48 Jake Kostecki 122
49 James Moffat 120
50 James Hinchcliffe 102
51 Alexander Rossi 102
52 Bryce Fullwood 0

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