A mistake during a pitstop saw Volvo Polestar Racing drivers Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat dropping down the order. The duo fought back up the field from 23rd position to finish 14th after 161 laps.
”We just had a bad day, it was a simple mistake by the crew in the pitstop and we went a lap down. That just stuffs your day up. But the car was unbelievable and Alex did a great job. We came back from 23rd to 14th, a recovery we should all be proud of,” said McLaughlin.
”Had a pretty good start and I was up to 12th from 16th on the grid after a few laps. Unfortunately we had an issue in the pits. But anyway, it is motor racing and sometimes it is unpredictable. The car was a rocket, I was consistent and Scotty did a perfect job. We are looking forward to Bathurst where we are going for the win,” said Prémat.
David Wall and co-driver Chris Pither fought hard in the race but struggled with minor technical issues to finish 21st.
”Chris did a really good job with a different strategy to get some clear air in the first part of the race. After a safety car we had a mighty moment and the car didn’t quite feel the same from then on. Not sure if there was a drama or not, but definitely lost something after that restart that just dropped us back. It was just one of those days, bring on Bathurst,” said Wall.
”Unfortunately we didn’t quite get the result after the race as we had a little bit of a barge and the exhaust was squashed, as well as struggling a bit with in-balance with the car. I got some clear track in my first stint and I felt pretty comfortable in the car. Overall I think it was pretty solid and I think we are in pretty good shape for Bathurst,” said Pither.
The incident in the pitstop came as the hose to the air jacks was still connected to the car as Prémat exited the pits. This forced the Frenchman to pit again, losing a lap on the leaders that the duo later fought to regain.
”It has been a tough day. But we had a lot of pace, the car was really good over the distance which gives me a lot of confidence heading to Bathurst,” said McLaughlin.
The Sandown 500 race is the first of three endurance races of the 2015 V8 Supercars championship where co-drivers and mandatory driver changes during pitstops play a major part in the strategy. Next up is the legendary Bathurst 1000 race on October 9-11th where McLaughlin/Prémat qualified in the top and fought for the lead last year.
”Mistakes happen and the team did a strong job this weekend nonetheless. Alex and Alexandre has shown promising pace ahead of Bathurst and we should be in a good position to fight for the top five at the Great Race,” said Christian Dahl, CEO of Cyan Racing, the official motorsport partner to Polestar.
Sandown 500 – V8 Supercars
Circuit: Sandown International Raceway
Length: 1300 m
Lap record (V8SC): 1:09:8500, Jamie Whincup, 2014
Race 24 – Top 5
1 Winterbottom/Owen Ford Falcon 161 laps
2 Mostert/Morris Ford Falcon +0.6596
3 Van Gisbergen/Webb Holden Commodore +9.6575
4 Tander/Luff Holden Commodore +9.9271
5 Reynolds/Canto Ford Falcon +11.1177
14 McLaughlin/Prémat Volvo S60 +26.9840
21 Wall/Pither Volvo S60 +1 lap
Qualifying Race 1 – Top 5
1 Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore 20 laps
2 Steve Owen Ford Falcon +7.1216
3 Cameron Waters Ford Falcon +9.8063
4 Dean Canto Ford Falcon +10.9837
5 Jonathon Webb +12.5090
22 Alexandre Prémat Volvo S60 +41.4203
23 Chris Pither Volvo S60 +52.4327
Qualifying Race 2 – Top 5
1 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore 20 laps
2 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.8057
3 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon +1.1545
4 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +1.8000
5 David Reynolds Ford Falcon +2.1637
16 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +6.7196
18 David Wall Volvo S60 +8.6483
Qualifying – Top 5
1 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon 1:08.7165
2 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.1904
3 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +0.3020
4 Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore +0.3035
5 David Reynolds Ford Falcon +0.3477
9 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.4652
24 David Wall Volvo S60 +1.0414
Championship Standings – Top 5
1 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon 2215 points
2 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon 2017 (-198)
3 David Reynolds Ford Falcon 1855 (-360)
4 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore 1792 (-423)
5 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore 1694 (-521)
11 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1212 (-1003)
24 David Wall Volvo S60 774 (-1441)