Frosty Forges Ahead

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 13/09/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

The Pepsi Max Falcons have continued their dominance at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, as the teammates fight for the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship lead.

Mark Winterbottom (paired with Steve Owen) extended his lead in the championship by taking the chequered flag while teammateChaz Mostert continued his recent good form finishing second with co-driver Cameron Waters.

The win is Winterbottom's first at Sandown since 2006, which was also his first ever race victory.

"That's awesome!" Winterbottom said after the race.

"To win here and stop the run of the other blokes was very dominant. Happy for Steve, the team and myself, an awesome day."

Mostert said his car was at its best in the final stages of the race, but he was unable to close the 0.659sec gap to Frosty.

"As the rear tyres went away in the last stint that was the best the car was all day... can't wait to go to Bathurst after this," he said.

Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb finished a strong third.

"It was such a good feeling to be up front again. Couldn't take it to these guys but we tried, and an awesome job by Jon," van Gisbergen said.

The #5 Pepsi Max Falcon started on the front row alonside theWhincup and Paul Dumbrell on ARMOR ALL Pole Position, with Dumbrell behind the wheel.

After a sequence of pit stops, car #1 led 86 of the first 100 laps, but it wasn't to be with a tyre puncture late in the race.

It's another blow for Whincup's championship hopes with the reigning champion now slipping to eighth position on the table.

Dumbrell and Owen both got good jumps, while Marcos Ambrose didn't move off the start line and dropped to the rear of the field.

Drama struck early for Wilson Security GRM -with a poorly executed pit stop for Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat's #33 - and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, with a steering drama parking Nick Percat/Oliver Gavin.

When the pit stops began, Holden Racing Team put Russell Ingall on an alternate strategy that paid off after starting back down the order.

A safety car came out after Alex Buncombe in the carsales Nissan ran off and was beached in the sand at turn nine, triggering a flurry of pit stops and bunching up the field.

The key pass came when Mostert was pressuring van Gisbergen and allowed Winterbottom by.

Then another key moment - Whincup diving into the pits for fuel and tyres, and then having to stop again after a puncture to his right rear. He ultimately finished 15th

Another Safety Car on lap 132 of 161 helped Mostert and bunched up the field -but Winterbottom powered on to finish the race ahead of his young teammate and continue to assert his authority on this Championship.

Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander (with Warren Luff) was once again a Sunday showstopper in fourth, and David Reynolds (Dean Canto) continues to sneak under the radar in fifth.

Walkinshaw Racing finished the race with all four cars in the top 10, and Tim Blanchard recorded a stellar result, home eighth with Karl Reindler (who hasn't raced a V8 Supercar since the Gold Coast 2013).

Others to note include Craig Lowndes (with Steven Richards) 13, McLaughlin (Premat) 14th after the pit issue.

Click here for full results.

Winterbottom's Championship lead has now extended to 198 points over Mostert.

The Sandown result marks Prodrive's first ever 1-2 finish in an enduro.

"Fantastic result - that's one of the three out of our way now, we've only got 600 points [to go]," Prodrive team boss Tim Edwards said.

"This is the danger zone so great start to our enduro campaign.

"Sadly Jamie and PD had the car speed and track position early on but through different factors got to the front and the boys did a good job early of managing the car."

The V8 Supercars next hit the track at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from October 8-11, where Prodrive will be looking to make it three in a row.

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