Triple Eight Race Engineering duo Paul Dumbrell and Jamie Whincup will start Sunday’s Sandown 500 from pole positions after winning their respective co-driver and main driver qualifying Sprint Races.
Dumbrell started from second place in the co-driver race and decisively outdragged pole sitter Steve Owen’s Ford off the line to lead the field into Turn 1. Thereafter, Dumbrell held the lead for the entire race and cruised to victory with a margin of over 8 seconds back to Owen.
There was a tight scrap for third place between DJR Team Penske’s Luke Youlden, Warren Luff (Holden Racing Team) and Jonathon Webb (TEKNO Autosports Holden), which Youlden held until the penultimate lap before Luff and then Webb snuck through.
Sixth and seventh places went to Volvo co-drivers David Wall and James Golding, while former Volvo driver Alexandre Prémat was eighth in his Triple Eight Holden.
With the finishing order of the co-driver race determining the qualifying order for the main driver sprint race, Whincup took over the cockpit from Dumbrell and led from lights to flag.
Garth Tander took his Holden Racing Team entry into second place from third on the grid, crossing the line just over one second adrift of Whincup.
Volvo’s two main drivers, Scott McLaughlin and James Moffat, both made great progress after clean races by their respective co-drivers and secured third and fourth respectively to lock out the second row for Sunday’s main race.
The pair earned their positions thanks to contact between Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen, with the former pushed off track by the latter in a tight squabble. Van Gisbergen redressed the position gain, but Coulthard’s bad luck was not to end after he copped a hit from Will Davison, falling to eleventh place.
Chaz Mostert, the fastest driver in provisional qualifying, finished fifth ahead of the second Holden Racing Team entry of James Courtney. Van Gisbergen, Tim Slade, Michael Caruso and Davison rounded out the top ten.
Championship contenders Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom will start from 12th and 22nd positions respectively. Lowndes’ co-driver Steven Richards was the victim of some push-and-shove in the first race, while Winterbottom was caught out in an opening-lap tangle when Scott Pye’s DJR Team Penske Ford was tipped into a spin on the opening lap.
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