Ford young guns triumph
CAM Waters has claimed a first Supercars victory, denying series leader Scott McLaughlin to win the Sandown 500 with teammate Richie Stanaway in a Ford lockout.
The Prodrive Racing pair were outsiders but showed their speed to win pole position on Saturday.
Yesterday they showed their grit to withstand challenges from all-comers. McLaughlin and Alex Premat’s No.17 Falcon came closest, but could not eat into the No.6 car’s lead as the laps ticked down.
The Red Bull Holdens of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen suffered tyre blowouts.
Chaz Mostert rounded out the podium after recovering from a five-second penalty incurred by codriver Steve Owen.
While McLaughlin would cheer a strengthening of his series lead, it was Waters who celebrated hardest — treating the crowd to burnouts for the win. “I don’t know what to say, I’m so pumped,” he said.
“I didn’t think I could hold (McLaughlin) off but we managed to keep the gap. It’s awesome.”
Stanaway said the win, on only his second visit to Sandown, was unbelievable.
“I can’t thank the team enough. They gave us an amazing car this weekend . . . we’ll really enjoy this result,” he said.
Garth Tander and James Golding’s No.33 Commodore was the first Holden home in fifth.
The endurance classic was reduced to 125 laps — or 387km — after a first-lap crash at turn six.
The corner ended Taz Douglas’s day. It meant a time-enforced finish, and a rejigging of strategies. Van Gisbergen was a beneficiary having opted to start the race — one of two lead drivers to do so.
He surged through the field, starting 21st but ending up in 13th by the race suspension.
The reigning champion handed over to Matt Campbell with the car sitting third, and remained there with 20 laps to go before the blowout.
Whincup and Dumbrell also would have been contenders but a lap 35 puncture while Dumbrell was in the car — and in the effective lead — began a dire day for Roland Dane’s Red Bull team. The result puts DJR Team Penske in front of the constructors’ championship by 378 points.
McLaughlin (2334 points) leads the driver standings from Whincup (2250) and Fabian Coulthard (2173).
Taz Douglas, of Repair Racing Management Australia, crashes yesterday.