Shootout returns for 2023 Sandown 500

14 Feb 2023
Traditional event, traditional qualifying format
2 mins by James Pavey

The Penrite Oil Sandown 500 will revert to a traditional qualifying system when the popular event returns in September.

The Sandown 500 has been restored as the traditional curtain-raiser for the Repco Bathurst 1000.

The ‘500’ was shifted to Phillip Island in 2008, and with it came a new qualifying race format.

Between 2008 and 2019, the starting grid for the ‘500’ was set by qualifying sprints run through various formats.

Most recently in 2019, a co-driver race set the grid for another sprint, which ultimately set the grid for Sunday’s 500km race.

Come 2023, and the Sandown 500 reverts back to the traditional qualifying/Shootout system last seen at a ‘500’ in 2007.

For the record, Mark Winterbottom paced the 2007 Shootout for Ford Performance Racing.

Shootouts were held at Sandown before the Saturday sprint races in 2009 and 2010.

Supercars last week announced the 2023 race weekend formats and tyre allocation.


Sandown’s Saturday action features a single-part qualifying session followed by an ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout.

It mirrors the qualifying format used for Bathurst, with the Shootout running order determined by a single-part qualifying session.

Sandown and Bathurst are two of the six rounds to include a Shootout, along with the Thrifty Newcastle 500, NTI Townsville 500, Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 and VALO Adelaide 500.

Sandown and Bathurst are both 161-lap races, both held on the Dunlop Soft tyre compound (the latter for the first time).

All Shootouts are preceded by a single-part qualifying session, cited in the Operations Manual as ‘Format 1’.

Sprint rounds will feature a mixture of Format 1 and Format 2, which is knockout qualifying.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 from 10-12 March.

The event will feature three practice sessions beginning on the Friday of the event, with the first-ever grids for Gen3 races set by one-part qualifying and a Shootout.

Both races in Newcastle will be over a 250km distance.

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