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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Feeney and Whincup rating tense 500 win

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Whincup executed two strikes on Will Brown‘s Erebus co-driver Jack Perkins throughout the early phases of the race, one both facet of the primary stops, to arrange one more Sandown victory for Triple Eight.

Feeney inherited the automobile in a cushty lead on the second spherical of stops and seemed to be on for a simple win – just for a late restart to bunch up the sector. However Whincup’s substitute within the Chevrolet Camaro outfit held off sequence chief Brodie Kostecki to safe his first Sandown 500 win and a fifth for group boss Whincup.

Kostecki and co-driver Dave Russell each contributed to the restoration of an early double stack that dropped them again into the pack to complete a wonderful second whereas Brown made a late mistake to fumble a podium, handing third spot to Shane van Gisbergen and Richie Stanaway.

Whincup made good early progress within the #88 entry, the veteran shifting previous Erebus co-drivers Russell and Perkins within the first couple of laps to paved the way. Whincup was main by a couple of second on lap 19 when fourth-placed Garth Tander’s Grove Mustang shed its left-rear wheel on the best way by way of the quick Dandenong Highway part.

The stray wheel bounced onto the again of James Moffat and Cam Waters’ fifth-placed Tickford Mustang and tore off the rear wing. With Tander beached within the Flip 9 sand, the protection automobile arrived to immediate a flurry of early stops, Tickford finishing its repairs in time to maintain Moffat on the lead lap.

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Perkins managed to leap again forward of Whincup amid all of the stops, whereas Russell plummeted from third to tenth within the order after being pressured to double stack behind Perkins.

The race went inexperienced once more on lap 26, Perkins initially main comfortably over Whincup and Michael Caruso’s Team 18 Camaro, till lap 39 when Caruso was simply handed by Porsche World Endurance Championship ace Kevin Estre’s #19 Grove Mustang into Flip 1. Two laps later there was a change for the lead when Whincup eased previous Perkins once more.

As soon as the magic lap 54 had been reached – the minimal for co-drivers – the second spherical of stops burst into life. Perkins was the primary of the front-runners to pit, handing his automobile over to Brown for the run to the end. Whincup and Estre then adopted go well with, Feeney resuming in a cushty efficient lead as Matt Payne slotted again into third behind Brown.

Broc Feeney, Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Photograph by: Edge Photographics

Russell, in the meantime, had managed good progress throughout his second stint, shifting into the highest six earlier than handing over to Brodie Kostecki, who discovered himself working fourth. By half-race distance, Kostecki was again on the rostrum after easing previous Payne into Flip 1.

Feeney made gentle of the third stint, pulling practically 9 seconds on Brown earlier than his 2024 team-mate pitted from second on lap 87. Feeney stopped two laps later, resuming in a lead over Brown that ballooned to greater than 13 seconds over the ten laps that adopted. Kostecki continued in third whereas van Gisbergen used an extended third stint to leap Payne for fourth throughout the third spherical of stops.

The fourth stint then noticed Kostecki make floor on team-mate Brown, closing to inside a second because the race neared the three-quarter mark. On lap 119 the battle between the Erebus automobiles was referred to as off when Brown appeared to let Kostecki by way of into second place as they blasted up the again straight.

Kostecki made his closing cease on lap 125, adopted by Brown on the next lap, the pair resuming in the identical order as earlier than the stops. In the meantime Feeney executed his closing cease with the lead intact, though his benefit over Kostecki was minimize down to only over six seconds.

That margin was then erased fully 20 laps from house when Cam Hill ended up beached at flip 9, sparking a second security automobile of the race. That led to a tense dash to what grew to become a time sure end, Feeney main with the 2 Erebus automobiles underneath his rear wing. He was as much as the duty, although, withstanding the stress to win by slightly below a second.

Kostecki was second whereas Brown made a pricey late mistake at Dandenong Highway. With three minutes to go he flew huge on the primary left-hander, which allowed van Gisbergen by way of to grab third.

The rostrum capped off an unimaginable restoration drive for van Gisbergen and Stanaway, who got here all the best way from nineteenth on the grid. It additionally retains NASCAR-bound van Gisbergen’s title hopes effectively and really alive, though Kostecki did handle to extend his lead over the reigning champion to 155 factors.

Feeney is now 204 factors again in third, whereas Brown has misplaced extra floor and is 294 factors again in fourth.

Broc Feeney, Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Broc Feeney, Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Photograph by: Edge Photographics

Andre Heimgartner and Dale Wood made it an all-Camaro prime 5, whereas Payne and Estre had been the best-placed Ford duo in sixth.

They completed forward of Will and Alex Davison and Anton De Pasquale and Tony D’Alberto, with Tim Slade/Jono Webb and the T8 wildcard entry of Zane Goddard/Craig Lowndes rounding out the highest 10.

The season continues with the Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8.

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