Holden Racing Team's Tander/Luff win Supercars' Sandown 500

Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander and Warren Luff won a dramatic, shortened Sandown 500 - the precursor to Supercars' Bathurst 1000

Holden Racing Team's Tander/Luff win Supercars' Sandown 500

The race had everything, except, perhaps, 500 actual kilometres.

Tander and Luff had both performed well in their qualifying races and then kept their heads as many others lost theirs in a main event with regular interruptions by weather, and truncated by 18 laps.

Tander looked set to take a straightforward win when, with 20 laps remaining, his front-left mudguard suddenly came loose.

With the bodywork flapping at high speed, race officials had a close look before giving the Holden Racing Team the all-clear to continue to the flag.

Second were Triple Eight's Shane van Gisbergen and Alex Premat, the Frenchman losing a great deal of ground in the early damp conditions before the flying Kiwi stormed back into contention.

Over the last 20 laps he closed from 12 seconds behind Tander to less than a second but never really got an overtaking opportunity.

Holden made it a 1-2-3 finish, with Will Davison taking third with his co-driver and Tekno team owner Jonathon Webb.

For many of the fancied drivers, Sunday was not a great day.

Craig Lowndes and his co-driver Steven Richards both ran off the track and finished eighth.

Jamie Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell dominated their qualifying races and looked to be in contention for the win, until Dumbrell illegally loosened his seat belts before stopping in the pitlane.

The subsequent pitlane penalty dropped Whincup to 18th, from where he recovered to 13th.

Sandown was a disaster for Mark Winterbottom. His co-driver Dean Canto was running fourth, having made ground by not pitting to change onto wet tyres, when he slid slowly into a barrier. By the time the Ford was pulled out, Winterbottom was last, and he finished 24th.

The race was red-flagged following a lap one crash in which James Golding speared off the track at 160mph.

His Volvo struck a tyre barrier and was launched into the air, though the 20-year-old was not hurt in the impact.

The other feature of the event was the brilliant Supercars debut of Richie Stanaway.

The New Zealander took a weekend off from Aston Martin's World Endurance Championship team and starred for Super Black Racing, particularly when on slicks, on a damp track.

RESULTS - 143 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 G.Tander, W.Luff HRT Holden 3h30m56.7695s
2 S.Gisbergen, A.Premat Triple Eight Holden 0.3485s
3 W.Davison, J.Webb Tekno Holden 14.7574s
4 S.McLaughlin, D.Wall GRM Volvo 15.9156s
5 C.Mostert, S.Owen Rod Nash/PRA Ford 16.3113s
6 F.Coulthard, L.Youlden DJR Penske Ford 22.6739s
7 T.Kelly, M.Campbell Nissan Motorsport Nissan 25.8458s
8 C.Lowndes, S.Richards Triple Eight Holden 33.3303s
9 N.Percat, C.McConville Dumbrell Holden 36.1446s
10 R.Kelly, R.Ingall Nissan Motorsport Nissan 37.5299s
11 J.Courtney, J.Perkins HRT Holden 38.3595s
12 L.Holdsworth, K.Reindler Schwerkolt Holden 43.0615s
13 J.Whincup, P.Dumbrell Triple Eight Holden 43.0685s
14 M.Caruso, D.Fiore Nissan Motorsport Nissan 48.7903s
15 S.Pye, T.D'Alberto DJR Penske Ford 1 Lap
16 T.Slade, A.Walsh Brad Jones Holden 1 Lap
17 C.Pither, R.Stanaway Super Black/PRA Ford 1 Lap
18 D.Wood, D.Russell Nissan Motorsport Nissan 1 Lap
19 A.Heimgartner, A.Russell Dumbrell Holden 1 Lap
20 T.Blanchard, M.Jones Britek/BJR Holden 2 Laps
21 J.Bright, A.Jones Brad Jones Holden 2 Laps
22 S.Davies, C.van der Drift Erebus Holden 2 Laps
23 M.Winterbottom, D.Canto Prodrive Ford 5 Laps
- D.Reynolds, C.Baird Erebus Holden Disqualified
- C.Waters, J.Le Brocq Prodrive Ford Retirement
- J.Moffat, J.Golding GRM Volvo Retirement


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