Shane van Gisbergen and Luke Youlden will start from pole position at the Sandown 500

Shane van Gisbergen and his Stone Brothers Racing Ford co-driver Luke Youlden will start from pole position for Sunday’s Sandown 500 V8 Supercars race after both drivers won their respective qualifying ‘sprint’ races today.

Under this year’s format, qualifying for the main event race would be determined by the finishing results of Saturday’s second 20-lap race, driven by all of the field’s regular drivers. In turn the grid order for that race was determined by the finishing order of the first 20-lap race, which was contested by all of the co-drivers.

The first hurdle was to deal with a Saturday morning qualifying session, and that session threw up a few surprises, not least of which being comparatively poor performances for the Triple 8 Holden line-up of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, who could only manage the fourth- and tenth-fastest efforts in the morning’s 20-minute session. That being said, Lowndes was just nine-hundredths off pole position, and Whincup was only 0.35 seconds slower – such is the level of competition in this championship category…

Former championship leader Will Davison (Ford Performance Racing) qualified quickest overall with a time of 1:10.3670, and managed to beat Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) to top spot by a scant seven-thousandths of a second.

Less than eight-hundredths of a second behind was van Gisbergen, and it was his co-driver Luke Youlden who brought home a valuable win and fifty championship points as his reward.

Youlden's Race 1 win set up co-driver van Gisbergen for a shot at pole position for the Sandown 500Youlden made a lightning start and leapt into the lead at the end of the first lap, beating Davison’s co-driver, John McIntyre, into first place.

McIntyre hung onto second place until he was overhauled by Dean Canto (co-driver to FPR stablemate David Reynolds) with just five laps to go.

Bundled off the racing line, McIntyre was also passed by Paul Dumbrell (making a return from retirement to co-pilot Whincup’s car), who had charged to fourth from his tenth-placed starting position in the early laps.

Dumbrell’s cause was helped by a first-corner tangle that saw Steven Richards (co-driver to championship challenger Mark Winterbottom) spun out by contact between Paul Morris and David Besnard, both of whom had reputations in their former full-time careers as being very accident-prone.

Richards would bring his battered car home in 19th place, but the Ford Performance Racing team would commit its own blunder by breaching parc fermé conditions after the race, leading to Richards being disqualified from the race and Winterbottom having to start the second race from the back of the grid…


2012 V8 Supercars Sandown 500 – Qualifying Race 1 Result (20 laps):

Driver Entry / Team Result Grid
1. Luke Youlden Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing 23:57.8838 3
2. Paul Dumbrell Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 0.2210 10
3. Dean Canto Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 0.4646 5
4. John McIntyre Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 1.9952 1
5. Warren Luff Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 2.2993 4
6. Nick Percat Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 3.2744 2
7. Scott McLaughlin Holden Tekno Autosports + 3.6669 9
8. Andrew Thompson Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 4.5652 13
9. Greg Ritter Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 4.8483 15
10. Alex Davison Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing + 6.9529 11
11. Cameron McConville Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 7.2934 16
12. David Russell Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 8.8033 12
13. Andrew Jones Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 9.1219 14
14. Craig Baird Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 11.2062 20
15. Matt Halliday Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 13.9671 17
16. Dale Wood Ford HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 14.4707 19
17. Tim Blanchard Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 14.7887 24
18. Chris Pither Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing + 17.7552 22
19. Christian Klien Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing + 18.4586 21
20. Jack Perkins Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 24.4644 23
21. Owen Kelly Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 25.0517 26
22. Scott Pye Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 27.1373 28
23. David Besnard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 27.6734 8
24. Daniel Gaunt Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing + 28.3284 27
25. Jonny Reid Holden Tekno Autosports + 28.6502 25
26. Allan Simonsen Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 35.0844 18
27. Paul Morris Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing + 1:00.9094 7
DQ. Steven Richards Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing Infringement 6

While the co-drivers had driven a comparatively clean race to hand over their cars to their respective counterparts, it appeared that some of the main drivers hadn’t read the memo about bringing their cars home in one piece.

The later afternoon’s race was a classic case of ‘rubbing is racing’, and while the biff and barge up and down the field certainly delighted commentators and fans alike, it left almost all teams’ mechanics faced with a hard night’s slog to repair their cars for Sunday’s 161-lap endurance race.

Such was the scale of the panel-bending that only one of the four min championship contenders managed a top-ten finish, and that was Craig Lowndes who finished in seventh place!

Starting from second position, points leader Jamie Whincup took the lead on the sprint into the first corner and kept van Gisbergen at bay until the thirteenth lap, at which point he had a major lock-up and slid off the circuit at Turn 9.

Less than half a lap later and Whincup had his second major incident, this time at Turn 4. Catching the flat-spot he’d created in his earlier off, he slid into the tyre wall. After reversing out of this mess, he limped home 19th.

Whincup’s primary title rival, Mark Winterbottom, drove a sensible race while everyone around him lost their heads, climbing up to finish 16th after starting bog last.

Winterbottom fought his way through to 16th in Race 2Winterbottom’s team-mate Will Davison was also in the wars, getting involved in the traditional first-lap shenanigans, and then later picking up more damage when he tripped over James Moffat and Lee Holdsworth as they came together in front of him. After pitting for repairs, he finished 27th and will start Sunday’s race from the back row of the grid.


Lowndes wasn’t immune from drama either, also suffering a lock-up and a gravelly moment when he ran wide at Turn 9. He managed to scramble back through the pack and finished seventh.

But with Whincup out of the way, it was van Gisbergen who came through to claim a valuable win and put Stone Brothers Racing back into contention as a realistic challenger to win the Sandown 500.

He finished the race ahead of David Reynolds, while Garth Tander completed the podium.


2012 V8 Supercars Sandown 500 – Qualifying Race 2 Result (20 laps):

Driver Entry / Team Result Grid
1. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing 25:32.6693 12
2. David Reynolds Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 3.0274 3
3. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 5.9716 36
4. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 7.3588 8
5. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 12.6230 9
6. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 12.8124 12
7. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 16.4835 5
8. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 17.4686 11
9. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports + 18.2465 7
10. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 18.2479 13
11. James Moffat Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing + 18.9533 10
12. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 20.4284 26
13. Lee Holdsworth Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 20.9392 14
14. Tony D’Alberto Ford HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 22.0212 16
15. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing + 22.3070 19
16. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing + 22.7164 28
17. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 23.6294 17
18. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 23.9580 23
19. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 24.4774 2
20. David Wall Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing + 26.3544 18
21. Dean Fiore Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 27.2253 15
22. Steve Owen Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing + 28.3058 27
23. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 30.3326 20
24. Michael Patrizi Holden Tekno Autosports + 32.3779 25
25. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing + 34.4652 24
26. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 46.2835 21
27. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 2 laps 4
28. Taz Douglas Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 2 laps 22

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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