Whincup earns back-to-back Sandown wins



Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell have crushed all-comers to the Sandown 500 in emphatic fashion.

The pair led from pole and were never seriously challenged to cap a momentous day for Holden drivers.

The leading four cars were Commodores, underlining their dominance of the V8 Supercars competition.

James Courtney and Greg Murphy took home second place after a dogged pursuit while teammates Garth Tander and Warren Luff completed the podium.

After taking pole on Saturday, it became clear that only a driving error or strategic blunder could stop the Red Bull Racing car No.1.

Dumbrell built an impressive lead after starting well from the grid, handing over to Whincup after 85 of the 161 laps.

Lee Holdsworth’s serious crash on lap 133 set the stage for a 22-lap sprint finish to the endurance classic.

But Whincup was spared a challenge to his lead with lapped cars between himself and Courtney denying car 22 a clear run after the re-start.

The endurance win is an incredible 10th race victory for Whincup in a V8 Supercars championship in danger of becoming a procession.

In an already accomplished season for Whincup, he and Dumbrell have also scrubbed two long-standing records.

Their back-to-back triumphs are the first at Sandown since Greg Murphy and Craig Lowndes in 1996 and 1997.

They are the first pairing to win from pole in 18 years.

Holdsworth – who was able to walk away from his high-speed crash – was one of three retirements in the 500 kilometre race.
James Moffat was forced to retire after his pit team was unable to detach the fuel hose from the No.360 car, with Jason Bright also unable to finish.

Ford’s Mark Winterbottom lost considerable ground in the championship, finishing 10th after a lapse in concentration from co-driver Steve Owen.

Similarly, Volvo team Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat fell short of their expectations to finish eighth after being trapped in the pit lane by a stacked car.

Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards rounded out the Holden top four, with emerging Ford driver Scott Pye and co-driver Ash Walsh best of the rest in fifth.

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