Ford Pepsi Max Crew endured a tough day at Sandown though strong recovery drives reduced the impact of early race issues.
Chaz drove his most impressive endurance race stint yet to come from a lap down to seventh.
Paul Morris put in an error-free first stint only to lose time in his first stop due to an issue with the right-front wheel. Despite the delay he maintained a solid pace before handing over to Chaz around one-third distance.
From there the rising star used raw pace and smart strategy around safety cars to finish well inside the top 10.
Frosty and Steve Owen endured a tougher day as they battled an ill-handling car to finish 10th.
An innocent spin for Steve lost some ground during his stint but Frosty believed his ultimate finishing position would be little different.
Mark Winterbottom & Steve Owen - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 10th
Winterbottom: “It is a long day when the car isn’t doing what you want it to. Usually in the short races you can make changes in between but that isn’t possible in the Enduros. Steve did his best with what we had but I actually think we might find something not quite right when we look over it. At least I hope we do. I’m not making excuses, there just needs to be a reason as the front end was bouncing all over the place. That has never happened before so we’ll have a thorough look. Either way it doesn’t change the outcome.”
Chaz Mostert & Paul Morris - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 7th
Mostert: “As soon as I got in the car I knew I had to just put in repeated qualifying laps. I was pushing on as hard as I could. Our set-up was good, we could do low 1m10s laps all day. Overall once the tyre degraded a little it wouldn’t go off which is encouraging. Paul’s pit issue put us back but the crew did a great job to put us in the right spot at the right time from then on and after the last restart we went from 13th to seventh so we had some fun. I am looking forward to getting to Bathurst and I’ll see what we can do there.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“We’re all disappointed today so there’s no point sugar-coating a day where we didn’t make the most of the positive situations we created. Undoubtedly Chaz and Dave drove excellently to finish where they did, and Frosty did a great job, but we shouldn’t have had the issues we did so we’ll go through everything thoroughly and put in a better performance at Bathurst. Defending our win is what we need to do to get our points tally back on track and that is our priority from now.”
SANDOWN 500 RESULTS
1) Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell – Triple Eight
2) James Courtney/Greg Murphy – HRT
3) Garth Tander/Warren Luff – HRT
4) Craig Lowndes/Steve Richards – Triple Eight
5) Scott Pye/Ash Walsh – Dick Johnson Racing
7) Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris – Ford Pepsi Max Crew
10) Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen – Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2325 points
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2052
3) Mark Winterbottom – Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2046
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Tekno: 1982
5) James Courtney – HRT: 1964
7) Chaz Mostert – Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 1694
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Triple Eight: 4427 points
2) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 3765
3) HRT: 3676