It’s qualifying day at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 – but unlike any other event we go to, this one’s a little bit different, with sprint races to set the starting order for tomorrow’s enduro.
Scott McLaughlin can seal a second Supercars crown this weekend, but with his Gold Coast accident fresh in the mind, this weekend loomed as a chance to take it easy.
However, he blew that thought out of the water – literally – on Saturday, with the reigning champion setting record pace in morning practice before snatching provisional pole from nowhere.
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Practice 4: McLaughlin leads tight final Sandown practice
Practice 3: Just 0.060s in it as Lowndes fires to the top
Practice 2: Whincup finds the sand as Reynolds sets record pace
Practice 1: Tander quickest in opening Sandown practice as rain arrives
Co-driver Alex Premat will start from P1 for the first sprint race, with Jamie Whincup’s qualifying pace landing Craig Lowndes into grid spot No. 2.
Whincup landed pole for the enduro in 2014, and 2015 and 2016, and is a four-time winner of the event. Lowndes us a five-time winner, and the duo linked up to win the race in 2007.
However, a lot has changed in 12 years – including the introduction of one Scott McLaughlin.
Despite his pace so far this weekend, McLaughlin is plagued by the fact he has never won at Sandown.
Should he do so on Sunday, another Supercars crown shall be his. However, he and Premat will have to clear the Saturday qualifying races first.
The 20-lap, 60km Race 28 sprint will commence at 2:25pm AEDT ahead of the primary drivers’ race at 5:20pm.
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