Guide to the Sandown 500

GUIDE TO THE SANDOWN 500

The traditional lead-in race to the Bathurst 1000 takes place on Sunday at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne. While the Sandown 500 gets a fraction of Bathurst’s attention, it has the same amount of points on the line and the title-chasers know it.

A switch to soft tyres in 2016 and a forecast for heavy rain means the 3.1km circuit is likely to host more drama than usual.

KEY PAIRINGS

Car No.88 – Jamie Whincup and Paul Durmbrell (Holden)

The six-time Supercars champion is again pairing with the highly-talented Dumbrell. The duo have two Sandown victories together – in 2013 and 2014 – and a series-leading Commodore.

Car No.55 – Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen (Ford)

In-form Mostert, the series’ best qualifier, partners with last year’s Sandown winner Owen, who shifts across from Mark Winterbottom’s Falcon.

Car No.888 – Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards (Holden)

The two old-timers have 10 Bathurst wins between them and like to talk tactics over a pot of tea. On the track though, they’ll be a force.

Car no.2 – Garth Tander and Warren Luff (Holden)

Last year’s Enduro Cup winning team link up again in the Holden Racing Team Commodore with ambitions to go back-to-back.

Car No.15 – Rick Kelly and Russell Ingall (Nissan)

Nissan’s best hope for a first Sandown 500 success in 25 years rests with popular veteran Russell Ingall.

Car No. 97 – Shane van Gisbergen and Alexandre Premat (Holden)

Whincup’s closest title rival has coaxed Frenchman Premat back to Supercars to bolster his Enduro Cup chances.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) – 2109.

2. Shane van Gisbergen (Holden) – 1972

3. Craig Lowndes (Holden) – 1911

4. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) – 1836

5. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo) – 1749

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