The Sandown 500 kicks off the endurance races of the 2015 V8 Supercars this weekend where co-drivers Alexandre Prémat and Chris Pither join regular Volvo Polestar Racing drivers Scott McLaughlin and David Wall.
”I am feeling confident and while we won’t be taking any unnecessary risks, I want to go out there and go absolute my hardest to win,” said McLaughlin.
Last time McLaughlin raced together with co-driver team mate Prémat was at the Gold Coast 600 last year where they scored a strong podium finish.
”Really happy to be back in the team and with Scotty, my super fast Kiwi man. Our aim is pretty high and the car is fast, so we are definitely looking for the top three. I really like the track, it is fast and flowing,” said Prémat.
Wall will take on his first endurance race for Volvo Polestar Racing this weekend and is keen to take a step up in the results.
”I love these events and to have Chris back on board is obviously a good thing. We have done the enduros together before in 2012 and 2013. Hopefully we can get the car tuned into where we want it to be and qualify well, then effectively get that result we are after,” said Wall.
Pither will also complete his first endurance race for the team but his second race overall as he stepped in for Wall earlier this year.
”I'm excited to get the Pirtek Enduro Cup underway. The lead up has been good with productive co-driver practice session and a solid test day at Winton, so I'm feeling comfortable in the #34 Volvo. David and I have a good relationship from driving together in the past so I'm confident we can build on our previous performances and come away with desired results,” said Pither.
The endurance races at Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast are included in the Pirtek Enduro Cup where the driver and co-driver combination accumulating the most championship points are crowned champions.
The Sandown 500 race weekend features two qualifying races on Saturday where co-drivers Prémat and Pither drive the first race on their own while regular drivers McLaughlin and Wall drive on their own in the second race.
The finishing order of the first race determines the grid positions for the second race. The finishing order of the second race determines the grid positions for the main race on Sunday of 500 kilometres where all four drivers take part in the race with mandatory driver changes during the pit stops.
Sandown 500 – V8 Supercars
Circuit: Sandown International Raceway
Length: 1300 m
Lap record (V8SC): 1:09:8500, Jamie Whincup, 2014
(Times in UTC +10h)
10:10 Practice 1 (30 min)
12:30 Practice 2 (30 min – co-driver only)
14:35 Practice 3 (30 min – co-driver only)
10:20 Practice 4 (40 min)
12:20 Qualifying (20 min)
14:00 Qualifying Race 1 (20 laps)
16:10 Qualifying Race 2 (20 laps)
10:20 Warm Up (20 min)
13:25 Race 24 (161 laps)
Championship Standings – Top 5
1 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon 1915 points
2 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon 1741 (-174)
3 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore 1660 (-255)
4 David Reynolds Ford Falcon 1633 (-282)
5 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore 1580 (-335)
11 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1086 (-829)
23 David Wall Volvo S60 690 (-1225)