Pepsi Max Crew claimed its first Sandown win since 2006 in dominant fashion with a 1-2 result as Frosty and Steve led home team-mates Chaz and Cameron.
The win extended Frosty’s series lead over Chaz to 198 points and other results saw PRA stable-mate David Reynolds move to third in the standings, giving the team a commanding position ahead of its quest next month for three-straight Bathurst titles.
Frosty’s second Sandown crown came after an error-free opening stint by Steve. When the series leader took the wheel with just over 100 laps remaining he began a relentless push which saw raw pace, slick pit stops and smart strategy elevate him to a lead he would never relinquish.
Chaz and Cam followed a similar day albeit with a different early race strategy.
Cam highlighted his talent by scything through the field and giving Chaz the platform to push for the win.
He dropped behind Frosty after trying to pass eventual third place Shane van Gisbergen, and ran in close formation right to the chequered flag.
#5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford – Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen: 1st
“It was an awesome day and to win an endurance race is always special. They are a big day and a lot of effort goes in. It is great to finally get it done. The last time the team and I won this race was back in ’06 and I was in the garage watching (Jason Bright) and cheering him on so it was a totally different feeling. I am really proud of the team and Steve for his efforts. It was a really cool day, good points, a good trophy and just a good result.”
"When you jump in with Mark and can hand it back to him in a good position you know he is going to be let off the leash. I brought it back in one piece and probably had a bit of a shocker in the second stint trying to catch the lead car. I probably should’ve done what Frosty did and continue on with what I had. Hopefully the car is a bit sharper at Bathurst but I am looking forward to it. I am wrapped for the whole team. I can’t wait for Bathurst as I think the car is going to be really good.”
#6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford – Chaz Mostert/Cameron Waters: 2nd
“I was pushing Mark pretty hard and trying to catch him but he got away in the first five to 10 laps. I started to close it up and it was exciting to put on a bit of a show at the end. I tried really hard to catch him but he was just too quick today. Cam did an awesome job – he actually got back in the field due to our strategy and then carved through the other co-drivers pretty quick. It was awesome to watch him do his thing.”
"I had good fun out there. In the first stint I couldn’t do much but the next one I got put back in the pack and had fun carving up the co-drivers. It is awesome being at Prodrive Racing and to be driving with Chaz. It is good to learn off him and the others. I am in the Dunlop Series and go to the podium every time the team gets one but to actually be up there is totally different. The most nervous part of the race was when I was out and watching Chaz. I just can’t wait to get to Bathurst now.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“It was an amazing day and to claim a 1-2, have the top three drivers in the championship and be so strong heading into Bathurst really is the icing on the cake. All weekend the entire team operated exceptionally. We enjoyed massive hometown support – that grandstand full of Ford fans was a sight to see. It gives us great momentum heading to the last phase of the season but we’ll certainly enjoy this at least for tonight and maybe for a day or so.”
SANDOWN 500 RESULTS – SUNDAY
1) Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen – Pepsi Max Crew
2) Chaz Mostert/Cameron Waters – Pepsi Max Crew
3) Shane Van Gisbergen/Jono Webb – Tekno
4) Garth Tander/Warren Luff – HRT
5) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Mark Winterbottom – Pepsi Max Crew: 2215
2) Chaz Mostert – Pepsi Max Crew: 2017
3) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 1855
1) Pepsi Max Crew: 4232
2) Triple Eight: 3388
3) HRT: 3335