TeamVodafone has secured its ninth consecutive race victory, Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff winning today’s Dick Smith Sandown 500, with teammates Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell also on the podium after finishing the 500km endurance dual third.
While both TeamVodafone co-drivers held their start positions off the line, Luff gained three positions by Lap 15 and Dumbrell seven, to be sitting third and 12th respectively.
The TeamVodafone co-drivers opted to double stint in their respective Holden’s and after two very quick first pitstops, Luff moved into second and Dumbrell gained another six positions.
Dumbrell claimed another two scalps before making a charge for teammate Luff on Lap 62. The #1 driver succeeded and moved into second.
With the race leader pitting on Lap 72, Luff came in on the following lap to hand the wheel to Lowndes. Another quick stop by the TeamVodafone pitcrew put the #888 driver out in front of race leader, David Reynolds.
Pitting on Lap 74, Dumbrell and Whincup executed an almost perfect driver change and the #1 Commodore merged onto the track in front of both Lowndes and Reynolds, to assume the race lead.
Maintaining their positions as the race progressed, Whincup ran off track briefly on lap 140 after locking a wheel, opening the door for Lowndes to take the race lead.
With three laps to go, Whincup was battling to hold second from a charging Mark Winterbottom, the Ford driver lunged up the inside of Whincup at Turn 9 pushing the TeamVodafone driver wide and back into third place.
Lowndes greeted the chequered flag to secure his 87th career win while Luff celebrated his first V8 Supercar race win.
Whincup remains 32 points ahead of Mark Winterbottom in the V8 Supercars Championship points standings with Lowndes now third on 2353 points.
The Brisbane-based team will return the home to prepare for the biggest race of the year, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Top Ten V8 Supercar Championship Series Race 20 Results -Dick Smith Sandown 5001:
2: M.Winterbottom/ S.Richards
3: J.Whincup/ P.Dumbrell
4: G.Tander/ N.Percat
5: S.Van Gisbergen/ L.Youlden
6: D.Reynolds/ D.Canto
7: T.Slade/ A.Thompson
8: L.Holdsworth/ C.Baird
9: J.Courtney/ C.McConville
10: J.Webb/ S.McLaughlin
Top Ten V8 Supercar Championship Points Standings:
1: Jamie Whincup, 2472 pts.
2: Mark Winterbottom, 2440 pts.
3: Craig Lowndes, 2353 pts.
4: Will Davison, 2236 pts.
5: Shane Van Gisbergen, 1882 pts.
6: Garth Tander, 1764 pts.
7: Tim Slade, 1662 pts.
8: Fabian Coulthard, 1541 pts.
9: Lee Holdsworth, 1449 pts.
10: David Reynolds, 1404 pts.