Whincup and Lowndes claim pole for tomorrow’s Sandown 500

Lowndes and Whincup won both qualifying races
Lowndes and Whincup won both qualifying races

The drivers with more wins than any others in the history of Supercars, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, have claimed pole position for tomorrow's Penrite Oil Sandown 500 after taming the wet conditions in Melbourne today.

Lowndes won the opening sprint race of the day between PIRTEK Enduro Cup co-drivers in tough conditions, before Whincup claimed his fourth Sandown pole position late today.

"We've been a little bit hit and miss in the wet this year, we've had some good performances and some ones that haven't been so nice," Whincup said.

“The car was good and poles have been few and far between this year, so we'll certainly take this one.

“It's always touch and go, but that's why the engineers gets the big bucks to make the right calls and today we made the right one."

Defending Virgin Australia Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin was basically handed this year's crown when his nearest rival, Shane van Gisbergen, collided with youngster Anton De Pasquale on the opening corner.

van Gisbergen punts rookie #99 De Pasquale
van Gisbergen punts rookie #99 De Pasquale

The incident ended van Gisbergen's day, meaning McLaughlin opened up a wide enough gap on the points table to make it almost mathematically impossible for McLaughlin to be overtaken this year, provided he simply finishes tomorrow's 500km race.

Nissan's Andre Heimgartner was one of the standouts in the wet and will start from second in tomorrow's endurance race with co-driver Bryce Fullwood, while last year's ARMOR ALL Pole Position winners at Sandown, David Reynolds and Luke Youlden will start from third.

Heimgartner was thrilled to secure his first front row start of 2019.

"It's pretty awesome, I was a little bit worried at the start there, obviously this track is pretty bad in the wet and we managed to tune it up anticipating that it'd be wet like that," Heimgartner said.

“It was really good, just managed to keep McLaughlin behind me and managed to keep the tyres on the thing and second place, really happy.

“Pretty confident that we got the car where we need it, but who knows, it's dry one minute, raining the next.

“Good start, hopefully Bryce will start the race tomorrow I think and we'll see where we end up, but really happy."

Lowndes out front in the wet
Lowndes out front in the wet

Will Davison was quickest of the Mustang's this afternoon and will start in 4th while McLaughlin was conservative in the wet so will start from 5th position as he tries to lock up the Championship tomorrow. McLaughlin's Shell V-Power teammate Fabian Coulthard will start from sixth.

After today's race van Gisbergen admitted he made a mistake in the clash with De Pasquale was his fault, despite race officials penalising De Pasquale for the incident.

De Pasquale recovered to record the fastest lap of the day in the Penrite Racing Commodore.

One of the drives of the day belonged to youngster Brodie Kostecki in the ZB Commodore he built with cousin Jake. Kostecki chose the right tyres and pushed his way through the field in tricky conditions. After starting 21st he ended the day in 8th position in just his fourth race at the top level.

Whincup won last year's Sandown 500 while Lowndes was third.

The ARMOR ALL Pole Position has rarely been a good form guide for the winner of the Sandown 500. The car starting on pole position has gone on to win the race just three times times in the last 32 Sandown enduros.

However, a car that started on the front row of the grid has gone on to win the last six Sandown 500s in a row.

Sprint Race 1

POS NO. DRIVER TEAM TIME PTS
1 888 Lowndes Red Bull Holden Racing Team 23:37.552 50
2 99 W. Brown Penrite Racing +2.594 46
3 97 Tander Red Bull Holden Racing Team +3.592 43
4 7 B. Fullwood Plus Fitness Racing +5.614 40
5 5 T. Randle The Bottle-O Racing Team +7.410 37
6 17 A. Premat Shell V-Power Racing Team +11.753 34
7 9 L. Youlden Penrite Racing +14.373 32
8 6 Caruso Monster Energy Racing Team +14.938 30
9 34 R. Muscat Boost Mobile Racing +19.275 28
10 23 A. Davison Milwaukee Racing +19.461 26
11 2 W. Luff Mobil 1 Racing +20.025 24
12 18 S. Richards Irwin Racing +23.014 23
13 12 T. D'Alberto Shell V-Power Racing Team +23.137 22
14 15 Wood Castrol Racing +23.624 21
15 3 D. Fiore RABBLE.club Racing +24.057 20
16 8 Blanchard Fujitsu Racing +25.682 19
17 33 C. Pither Boost Mobile Racing +26.041 18
18 22 J. Perkins Mobil 1 Racing +27.041 17
19 78 A. Rullo Team Harvey Norman +34.768 16
20 19 J. Webb Truck Assist TEKNO Racing +35.207 15
21 56 J. Kostecki Boost Mobile Kostecki Brothers +35.830 14
22 21 D. Canto Team CoolDrive +36.366 13
23 14 Walsh Freightliner Racing +45.711 12
24 35 J. Smith Bigmate Racing +56.315 11
NC 55 Moffat Supercheap Auto Racing +7 Laps 0

Sprint Race 2

POS No. DRIVER TEAM TIME PTS
1 888 Whincup Lowndes, Tander Red Bull Holden Racing Team 25:47.280 50
2 7 Heimgartner B. Fullwood, Wood Plus Fitness Racing +7.380 46
3 9 Reynolds W. Brown, L. Youlden Penrite Racing +9.635 43
4 23 Davison Caruso, A. Davison Milwaukee Racing +9.733 40
5 17 McLaughlin T. D'Alberto, A. Premat Shell V-Power Racing Team +14.118 37
6 12 Coulthard T. D'Alberto, A. Premat Shell V-Power Racing Team +14.227 34
7 5 Holdsworth T. Randle, Moffat The Bottle-O Racing Team +14.906 32
8 56 B. Kostecki J. Kostecki Boost Mobile Kostecki Brothers +15.529 30
9 55 Mostert T. Randle, Moffat Supercheap Auto Racing +15.641 28
10 22 Courtney J. Perkins, W. Luff Mobil 1 Racing +20.030 26
11 35 T. Hazelwood J. Smith Bigmate Racing +25.816 24
12 78 S. De Silvestro D. Fiore, A. Rullo Team Harvey Norman +29.445 23
13 99 A. de Pasquale W. Brown, L. Youlden Penrite Racing +52.046 22
14 6 C. Waters Caruso, A. Davison Monster Energy Racing Team +1:06.346 21
15 18 Winterbottom S. Richards Irwin Racing +1:12.871 20
16 34 J. Golding R. Muscat, C. Pither Boost Mobile Racing +1:13.242 19
17 15 R. Kelly B. Fullwood, Wood Castrol Racing +1 Lap 18
18 8 Percat Blanchard, Walsh Fujitsu Racing +1 Lap 17
19 33 R. Stanaway R. Muscat, C. Pither Boost Mobile Racing +1 Lap 16
20 14 Slade Blanchard, Walsh Freightliner Racing +1 Lap 15
21 21 M. Jones D. Canto Team CoolDrive +1 Lap 14
22 3 G. Jacobson D. Fiore, A. Rullo RABBLE.club Racing +1 Lap 13
23 2 S. Pye J. Perkins, W. Luff Mobil 1 Racing +1 Lap 12
24 19 J. Le Brocq J. Webb Truck Assist TEKNO Racing +1 Lap 11
NC 97 Van Gisbergen Lowndes, Tander Red Bull Holden Racing Team +20 Laps 0

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