The 46th running of the Wilson Security Sandown 500 this weekend marks the start of the all important Endurance Cup and the Prodrive trio of Winterbottom, Mostert and Reynolds will be looking to cement their places as the class of the 2015 field.
One driver pairing looking to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, or the Holden amongst the Ford’s is Triple Eight’s Lowndes and Richards. Looking to equal Allan Moffat’s record breaking sixth Sandown victory, Lowndes and Co will be hoping a strong performance in Saturday’s session can make the 161 laps around Sandown on Sunday a little easier.
The spotlight will be shining on Red Bull Racing Australia a little bit brighter at Sandown this year as they aim to become the first team in V8 Supercar history to win the race five times in a row. With Whincup gasping for a late resurgence in the Championship after a (by his standards) less than stellar year the possibility of Whincup and Dumbrell recording their hat-trick of victories at Sandown becomes very real.
Elsewhere on the grid, after making his debut as a co-driver back in 2012, Scott McLaughlin looks set to make his 100th V8 Supercars start. Still at the tender age of 22, Scott has the potential to emulate returning championship stalwart Ingall and become one of the V8 Supercar greats with 6 race wins and 13 podiums already to his name.
Located 25km South of Melbourne’s centre, Sandown was originally a 19th Century Horse Racing course before being converted to a race track in 1962. Considered an engine track, due to its two lengthy straights, a good exit from the corners preceding these is the key to banging in a fast lap time. Expect cars set up for top speed with low downforce to have the advantage come race day.
With a bumper field of experienced co-drivers to choose from this year, expect sparks to be flying the whole length of the grid, pairings to watch are Holdsworth-Bourdais, Whincup-Dumbrell and Winterbottom-Owen, all of which could be challenging for the lead come lap 161.
thehairpincorner prediction : Lowndes and Richards to equal Moffat’s record whilst podiums go to Winterbottom-Owen and Mostert-Waters.
We’ll be back with an update after Saturday’s qualifying session before what promises to be a vintage weekend for Australian Motorsport.