A STAR was born at Sandown Raceway yesterday when Cameron Waters turned giant killer to beat Scott McLaughlin and become a V8 King.
Writing his name into the proud 46 year history of the famous Melbourne race, Waters joined V8 immortals Peter Brock, Mark Skaife and Allan Moffat as a Sandown 500 champion by winning a 125 lap war.
In a race cut short by 36 laps after a spectacular lap-one shunt forced an hour-long red flag, the Prodrive Racing Aus- tralia (PRA) young-gun pulled off a Sandown shock to deliver Ford an endurance season starting win by surviving to win his first ever race.
Waters, 23, announced himself as a V8 force by beating the flying Ford of DJR Team Penske heavyweight McLaughlin by just over halfa-second to deliver on his potential and promise.
Waters arrived as the new kid on the V8 block.
“I don’t know what to say,’’ he said. “I didn’t think I could keep Scotty off for the last little bit but we won and I am just so pumped.’’
Richie Stanaway also added his name to the silverware with the Kiwi co-driver faultless in the opening stint that set-up the win for Waters.
‘I am very proud to get the result,’’ Stanaway said.
“I can’t thank the guys at PRA enough.’’
The race opened in spectacular scenes when Taz Douglas went hurtling into a wall on the first lap.
In another Sandown heartstopper, the Holden co-driver speared off the track and smashed into a tyre bundle at an estimated 150km/h.
Douglas emerged unhurt – but the safety barrier was seriously damaged with officials to red-flag the race.
Race officials scrambled to repair the damage to the tyre wall as the field peeled into the pits for an unwelcome and unscheduled stop.
And they were left to wait with the clean-up and repairs taking almost 60 minutes in a stoppage that forced a timecertain race.
With 35 laps stripped from the race, pole-sitter Stanaway powered to the lead at the rolling restart as Alexandre Premat and Paul Dumbrell gave chase.
“Congrats to Cam and I know exactly what it feels like to get that first win,’’ McLaughlin said.
“It is awesome for him and well done.
“I am pretty stoked and this is a win for us and now we will move on to Bathurst.’’
Chaz Mostert made it a double podium for PRA by claiming third while Shane van Gisbergen’s championship took a battering when he blew a tyre at the bitter end to finish 16th. Jamie Whincup recovered from a blow-out for sixth which keeps him in championship contention.
SHOCK WIN: Cameron Waters heads to the line to win the shortened Sandown 500 at Sandown Raceway yesterday.