Jamie Whincup passed Triple Eight teammate Craig Lowndes with 10 laps to go to win the Sandown 500 for himself and co-driver Paul Dumbrell.
Whincup and Dumbrell had controlled several stages of the race, with Dumbrell dominating the early running in particular, but a pitlane penalty gave them work to do.
A late call to change drivers at a pit stop led to Dumbrell knocking the Holden back into gear as he hurriedly jumped out, resulting in a penalty for spinning the car’s wheels during a stop.
Lowndes and partner Warren Luff had an eventful race, too, getting delayed when they had to queue behind the sister car in an early safety car pit stop, then when a punt from Andrew Thompson sent Luff off the road.
The Triple Eight cars worked their way back to the front by the final stint, with Whincup overtaking Lowndes late on and pulling away to secure victory by eight seconds.
Strategic miscues and pit stop problems marred Ford Performance Racing’s victory bid. The pole-sitting Will Davison/Steve Owen car made it home third despite oil mist swirling behind in the closing laps. Had the wilting Falcon expired, the Erebus Mercedes would have got its first podium.
Fourth place was still the new car’s best result, as Lee Holdsworth who shared with Craig Baird hunted Davison down in the run to the flag. James Courtney and Greg Murphy were fifth for Holden Racing Team.
The second FPR car of Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards stalled on the line, had a very slow last pit stop due to a wheel issue, and finally ended up sixth.