The Triple Eight Race Engineering driver pairing of Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff have won the Sandown 500. It looked set to be 1-2 result for the team until contact three laps from the finish saw Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell slip to third with the Ford Performamce Racing duo of Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards promoted to second.
Greg Ritter took the lead as the field set off on the opening lap, though a lock up by Ritter at Turn 9 meant that polesitter Luke Youlden crossed the line in first after lap one. The first safety car was called out only five laps later for the recovery of Tony D’Alberto’s car, after contact from Christian Klien as a result of contact from Allan Simonsen. Simonsen was given a drive through penalty for his role in the incident.
Ford Performance Racing’s Dean Canto took the lead after the first round of pit stops with Warren Luff moving into second position. Luff was later overtaken by his Triple Eight Race Engineering counterpart Paul Dumbrell. The two Triple Eight Commodores were able to jump the FPR Falcon after their respective driver change stops.
The second safety car of the race was called after Taz Douglas made contact with Steve Owen at Turn 9 on lap 80. Mark Winterbottom was promoted to third following the final round of stops after a slow stop for David Reynolds. Race leader Whincup was able to increase his lead over Lowndes after their respective stops.
Lowndes took the race lead on lap 140 after a lock up from Whincup at Turn 2. As the race entered its final stages Whincup then came under increasing pressure from Winterbottom as the pair made their way past lapped traffic. Winterbottom moved into second after making contact with Whincup at Turn 9 on lap 159. That was how they finished after 161 laps.
The V8 Supercar championship heads to Mount Panorama next for the famous Bathurst 1000km race, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012.