Parallels have been drawn between the AFL Finals Series and the PIRTEK Enduro Cup – an intense time of glory and desperation in both sports, with one cup everyone wants to win.
So naturally, this afternoon a handful of AFL players were at Sandown Raceway representing their clubs – and jumping at the opportunity to have a ride in the V8 Supercars.
Holden Racing Team played host to Collingwood Football Club esteemed players Dayne Beams and Scott Pendlebury. The factory Holden team is representing the black and white this weekend with HRT running a tribute bonnet to the infamous Victorian AFL club.
2012 All-Australian and 2010 premiership player Beams jumped in the passenger seat of James Courtney’s recent race winning #22 Commodore and loved every minute. Scratch that – it was two minutes, he said.
“The ride was unreal, I love it, it was awesome,” Beams told v8supercars.com.au after jumping out of the car.
“Collingwood is obviously the biggest club in Australia and one of the biggest in the world and it’s great to be on board with Holden this weekend as they are one of the more dominant brands in this trade as well.”
Which was scarier – running onto the football field or riding in the V8 Supercar?
“Definitely that, I was well out of my comfort zone there. But I would definitely jump back in again because it was an awesome two minutes …
“It would be interesting to see what sort of things they do (in training) because they lose a lot of fluid in the car, so I think our preparation for races and games would be quite different.”
Erebus Motorsport V8 had Western Bulldogs Captain Matt Boyd have a hot lap with Lee Holdsworth – because of a joint apparel partner in KOOGA – and he had nothing but praise for what drivers can handle over a race weekend.
"From the outside anyone watching these guys wouldn't think they are athletes, but coming in, I thought they would be – and after that experience, I absolutely know they are!” he said.
"I have nothing but admiration for what V8 Supercar drivers do. The braking particularly was just unbelievable, I have a new understanding of the sport and the athletic ability required to be a V8 Supercar driver.”
The AFL Finals Series airs on Seven this weekend, with the semi finals playing out this weekend and preliminary finals next weekend, ahead of the September 28 Grand Final.
The Wilson Security Sandown 500 continues tomorrow, the V8 Supercars track time beginning with a final practice session at 10.20am AEST, followed by a qualifying session, and two qualifying races. Click here to find out how to follow the event.