Top five at five: Wilson Security Sandown 500

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 19/09/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

The first race of the Pirtek Enduro Cup unfolded over 500km in sunny Melbourne, and the two top Holden teams battled it out at the front -though ultimately Championship leader, paired with Paul Dumbrell, proved unstoppable.

The co-drivers really showed their value, running longer stints than expected after an ill-timed safety car foiled pre-planned strategies.

Many favourites returned to the driver's seat as co-drivers, with Dumbrell, Greg Murphy, team boss Jono Webb and Steve Johnson battling it out.

Throw in some internationals, the polarising Paul Morris, fast Frenchman Alex Premat and a handful of hot up-and-comers -and it was no wonder we had a race on our hands, with the usual Championship favourites finishing off the closing laps.

What did you think were the biggest moments from Sunday's Sandown race? Vote for your favourite from v8supercars.com.au's top five.

5. Premat's return

He drove for Garry Rogers Motorsport the past two seasons, and while Alex Premat was dropped from the team full-time, he was invited back to pair with Scott McLaughlin for the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

The Frenchman and Kiwi formed a close relationship racing together last season, and racing the Volvo -which many tipped would go well at Sandown, given the track's two long straights - and Premat topped by co-driver practice sessions and didn't back out of contests in the race.

However, the pair were stumped when Premat got jammed in pit lane, unable to get out of his bay with a number of V8 Supercars stacked around him.After losing a handful of spots, they never recovered to fight as contenders.

4. Reynolds steals Lowndes' thunder

David Reynolds was the only Championship driver to start the race and buck the trend, the Bottle-O team looking to gain track position early.

Reynolds completed the first stint, gaining three positions and handing over to Dean Canto.

After completing the first stint, Reynolds was reasonably relaxed and was positive about the driving standards in the co-driver group, having had a tussle with Premat in the Volvo.

His mid-race interview was pretty standard -until he stole Craig Lowndes' signature line, saying hi to Levi and Chilli, Lowndes' kids.

3. Erebus smash

A huge crash in the late stages of the race triggered the Safety Car that bunched up the field and allowed the V8 Supercars to sprint home.

Lee Holdsworth emerged uninjured from the 200km/h-plus crash that he called the scariest moment of his life.

His E63 flew off the circuit and into the tyre barrier at the esses on lap 131 of the 161-lap race after a rear end failure in the car.

Concern for Holdsworth came flooding in but fortunately he was all good -and said the crash may even act as a confidence booster heading to the next event, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000!

2. Tander versus Lowndes

Two of the sport's best went head to head in the closing stages of the Sandown 500, with the two rival Holdens fighting for the final place on the podium.

Just 0.4 seconds separated them as they crossed the line, with Tander - paired with Warren Luff, who Red Bull replaced at the end of last season after he claimed the Pirtek Enduruo Cup with Lowndes -holding position.

Lowndes said he didn't have the car pace to get passed - read more on Lowndes' fight here.

1. Whincup and Dumbrell win first enduro

The defending Sandown champs proved they will yet again be a force to be reckoned with at Bathurst, looking unstoppable the entire weekend in Victoria. From topping qualifying, to ARMOR ALL Pole Position, to Dumbrell handing to Whincup with the Red Bull Commodore in the lead -they have proven they will be hard to beat at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

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