Sandown 500: Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff win spectacular fight
|Sunday, September 16th 2012, 07:35 GMT|
Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff took victory in a spectacular conclusion to V8 Supercars' first endurance race of the year at Sandown.
Triple Eight crews Lowndes/Luff and Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell monopolised the lead battle for much of the event, despite starting in seventh and 19th following Saturday's wild qualifying race.
Whincup was leading into the closing stages, but Lowndes - on fresher tyres - was catching him rapidly, as was Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom.
Lowndes grabbed the lead with 20 laps to go when Whincup slid over the grass.
The champion then had to focus on resisting Winterbottom, who muscled past the Holden two laps from the end of the 500-kilometre event, to Whincup's annoyance. Winterbottom and co-driver Steven Richards had also had to charge forward, having started only 16th.
Garth Tander and Nick Percat were Holden Racing Team's top finishers in fourth, with polesitters Shane van Gisbergen and Luke Youlden taking fifth in their Stone Brothers Ford.
The Dean Canto/David Reynolds FPR car was also a strong contender for victory until a slow final stop that left Reynolds having to battle back to sixth.
It was a disappointing car for the third FPR crew. Having started at the back, Will Davison tried to make up places with a very long first stint before handing over to partner John McIntyre, who lost ground in the middle of the race. They could only finish 17th.
Fast-starting Garry Rogers driver Greg Ritter produced a star cameo with a brief early lead challenge before spinning the Holden he shared with Michael Caruso.
Results - 161 laps: Pos Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Lowndes/Luff Triple 8 Holden 3h19m14.8927s 2. Winterbottom/Richards FPR Ford + 1.6343s 3. Whincup/Dumbrell Triple 8 Holden + 4.6534s 4. Tander/Percat HRT Holden + 10.4647s 5. Van Gisbergen/Youlden Stone Brothers Ford + 13.7949s 6. Reynolds/Canto Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 18.6040s 7. Slade/Thompson Rosenberg/SBR Ford + 18.9586s 8. Holdsworth/Baird Stone Brothers Ford + 24.7206s 9. Courtney/McConville HRT Holden + 29.3175s 10. Webb/McLaughlin Tekno Holden + 31.3135s 11. Ingall/Klien Walkinshaw/HRT Holden + 31.8105s 12. Kelly/Russell Kelly Holden + 37.7442s 13. Bright/Jones Brad Jones Holden + 47.6531s 14. Caruso/Ritter Garry Rogers Holden + 52.2985s 15. Coulthard/Besnard Brad Jones Holden + 54.2196s 16. Fiore/Halliday Triple F/DJR Ford + 1m02.0332s 17. Davison/McIntyre FPR Ford + 1m06.4077s 18. Kelly/Blanchard Kelly Holden + 1 lap 19. Premat/Perkins Garry Rogers Holden + 1 lap 20. Reindler/Gaunt Kelly Holden + 1 lap 21. Johnson/Simonsen Dick Johnson Ford + 1 lap 22. Wall/Pither Britek/BJR Holden + 2 laps 23. D'Alberto/Wood D'Alberto Ford + 2 laps 24. Douglas/Pye Dumbrell Holden + 2 laps 25. Owen/Morris Paul Morris/DJR Ford + 2 laps 26. Moffat/Davison Dick Johnson Ford + 3 laps 27. Murphy/Kelly Kelly Holden + 29 laps Retirements: Patrizi/Reid Tekno Holden 83 laps