Saturday, Nov 9 07:55pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Whincup beats Heimgartner in topsy-turvy race for the grid

Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes will start the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 from pole position after another wet and wild race for the grid.

A cold and damp Sandown Raceway greeted the 25-car field for the final 20-lap sprint race. On pole position was Whincup courtesy of Lowndes’ win in the co-driver race prior.

Once again, the Red Bull racer got a good getaway from top spot, but there was drama just moments after the start. After the hard the work by Will Brown in the co-driver sprint race to start second on the grid, it was all undone in a few seconds.

Third-place starter Shane van Gisbergen went to the inside to block a fast-starting Scott McLaughlin from sixth on the road. However, van Gisbergen locked up into Turn 1 and duly made contact with the door of de Pasquale, which sent them both spinning. The rest of the field blew by and the spinners fell to the back of the running order.

At the end of Lap 1, it was Whincup who led Andre Heimgartner. McLaughlin was third with Lee Holdsworth and David Reynolds in tow. Will Davison was sixth, Fabian Coulthard seventh, James Courtney eighth, Mark Winterbottom ninth and Brodie Kostecki the biggest surprise of all at the back end of the top 10.’

After James Moffat’s dramas earlier in the day, Chaz Mostert made plenty of headway to go from last to 12th by the second lap.

Following the incident between van Gisbergen and de Pasquale, the stewards gave the Penrite Racing driver a drive-through penalty. While van Gisbergen pitted with damage to his car, de Pasquale fell from 13th to last for the second time in the race, then climbed back to 13th courtesy of those stuck on the slick tyre.

However, van Gisbergen lay the blame on himself for the contact and was left perplexed by the penalty de Pasquale was given.

“I’m gutted mate, I stuffed that one up royally,” van Gisbergen said after the incident.

“I’ve just seen they gave Anton a drive-through. I can’t believe that. 100 per cent on me, clear as day. I blocked [Scott McLaughlin] and then just misjudged.

“I feel so bad for those guys, Will did an awesome job, passed us, I’m really sorry for ruining that. We’ll have another go tomorrow. Yeah, I dunno what they’re doing giving him a penalty.”


Not long after van Gisbergen claimed responsibility, Driving Standards Advisor Craig Baird apologized for the decision. 

Those who dared to run the slick tyre lost plenty of ground. Cameron Waters was the best of those on the slick in 14th for Tickford Racing, a minute off the lead.

David Reynolds managed to make his way past Scott McLaughlin on Lap 16 down at Turn 1. He began to lose time to the leaders with his tyre pressures set too high. Fortunately, he had Shell V-Power Racing teammate Fabian Coulthard as rear gunner.

Unbelievably, the slick tyres runners began to get lapped with just a handful of laps to go. The front runners managed to avoid any dramas and Whincup cruised home to a comfortable win.

Heimgartner was second ahead of Reynolds. Davison usurped McLaughlin late in the piece for fourth. Coulthard and Holdsworth were sixth and seventh, but best of all was wild-card entry Brodie Kostecki in eighth. Chaz Mostert and James Courtney completed the top 10.

The Penrite Oil Sandown 500 gets underway at 3:25 pm.


Penrite Oil Sandown 500, Race 29 


Pos   No.   Driver/Co-driver Laps   Diff
1 888 Australia Jamie Whincup
Australia Craig Lowndes
2 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Australia Bryce Fullwood
20 +7.380
3 9 Australia David Reynolds
Australia Luke Youlden
20 +9.634
4 23 Australia Will Davison
Australia Alex Davison
20 +9.732
5 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
France Alexandre Prémat
20 +14.118
6 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Australia Tony D'Alberto
20 +14.227
7 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Australia Thomas Randle
20 +14.906
8 56 Australia Brodie Kostecki
Australia Jake Kostecki
20 +15.528
9 55 Australia Chaz Mostert
Australia James Moffat
20 +15.640
10 22 Australia James Courtney
Australia Jack Perkins
20 +20.030
11 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Australia Jack Smith
20 +25.815
12 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Australia Alex Rullo
20 +29.445
13 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Australia Will Brown
20 +52.046
14 6 Australia Cameron Waters
Australia Michael Caruso
20 +1'06.346
15 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
New Zealand Steven Richards
20 +1'12.870
16 34 Australia James Golding
Australia Richard Muscat
20 +1'13.242
17 15 Australia Rick Kelly
Australia Dale Wood
19 +1 lap
18 8 Australia Nick Percat
Australia Tim Blanchard
19 +1 lap
19 33 New Zealand Richie Stanaway
New Zealand Chris Pither
19 +1 lap
20 14 Australia Tim Slade
Australia Ash Walsh
19 +1 lap
21 21 Australia Macauley Jones
Australia Dean Canto
19 +1 lap
22 3 Australia Garry Jacobson
Australia Dean Fiore
19 +1 lap
23 2 Australia Scott Pye
Australia Warren Luff
19 +1 lap
24 19 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Australia Jonathon Webb
19 +1 lap
DNF 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen  
Australia Garth Tander