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Teammates reunite

David Wall can’t wait to pair up with former teammate Scott McLaughlin and help his friend push ahead for the Championship as they tackle this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.

After four years full-time in Supercars with stints at Brad Jones Racing, Dick Johnson Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport, Wall has branched out to drive various categories this season and take on just the three big Supercars events in a front-running car.

McLaughlin sits fifth in the championship standings and has a hard task ahead of him to take the title, with a 360-point gap to leader Jamie Whincup, with the two other Triple Eight Commodores of Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes in front on points, and defending champ Mark Winterbottom.

Wall says he won’t tackle the events any differently, despite being in a higher profile position than ever before pairing with McLaughlin. He will get plenty of race miles...


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Volvo’s championship winning colours

Garry Rogers Motorsport has stepped back 30 years and unveiled its retro livery for this weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500.

Both Volvo S60s have gone back to 1986 with a livery inspired by the Volvo Dealer Team Australian Touring Car Championship winning 240 Turbo.

The 240T was the first turbocharged car and the first-ever Swedish car to win the Australian Touring Car Championship, back with Robbie Francevic at the wheel.

Saturday Sleuthing

Flamboyant team boss Garry Rogers is pleased with the new look and believes the team is capable of making a splash this weekend at Sandown.

“I remember clearly Robbie Francevic invading our shores with the Volvo – it’s ironic that 30 years later we still have a Kiwi behind the wheel of a Volvo,” Rogers said, referring to Championship contender Scott McLaughlin.  

Volvo livery 2016

“Robbie achieved some remarkable results with the Volvo in 1986 and as much as I am not a...


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Making a Cam-back

Getting behind the wheel of a Supercar for a 60-lap stint was like getting back on a bicycle for Cameron McConville, who returns to the category for the first time since 2012 this weekend.

The 2004 Winton race winner joins Nick Percat for this weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 and in unexpected circumstances will race all three Pirtek Enduro Cup events with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

McConville has had time off from racing to perform behind the scenes roles with CAMS – including a stint as the Supercars Driving Standards Observer – and his run at Winton yesterday reminded the 42-year old just how unique the Supercars are to drive.  

“It does feel like riding a bike, but it’s interesting that I’ve been driving other cars and a V8 Supercar is so specific, so the driving technique and driving skills can’t really transfer from another car,” McConville told supercars.com. 

“So whilst...


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Shooting for top five

David Reynolds and Craig Baird believe top five results are possible for Erebus Motorsport throughout the enduros.

Results have been up and down for Reynolds in his first season with the Betty Klimenko-owned squad, but a top five qualifying effort in Townsville and a top six finish after an impressive drive at Winton showed the team has promise.

The last rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park and Queensland Raceway weren’t circuits Reynolds expected would garner results because of its long radius corners. 

But the pair believes anything is possible in the Pirtek Enduro Cup, particularly with Baird’s extra miles behind the wheel of a Supercar, after he jumped in the sister car as primary driver at Queensland Raceway.

Reynolds said it would be important to start the weekend on the right foot, and while he was hesitant to make bold predictions, has plenty of belief in his team.

“Obviously we...


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Retro Nissan throws back to '66

Nissan will celebrate 50 years of business in Australia at the Sandown 500 Supercars Championship event this weekend.

In the first of the endurance races for 2016, the #23 Nissan Altima Supercar of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore will mirror the look of the 1966 Bathurst 500 class-winning Datsun 1300 of Japanese drivers Moto Kitano and Kunimitsu Takahashi.

caruso_altima_small3

“When Nissan was incorporated in Australia back in 1966, one of the first things we did was to go motor racing,” said Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery.

datsun_1300_small

“It is fitting that now, as we celebrate half a century of our Australian operations, that we salute the success of the Datsun 1300 that won its class in the 1966 Bathurst 500.

“Over 700 staff and their families will be trackside to cheer on our Nissan Motorsport team at Sandown, which is located within kilometres of our Australian headquarters,...


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Rust busting retro

This weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 will have a touch of the '90s, as the #96 GB Galvanizing Altima throws back to the car’s naming partner’s first foray into motorsport. 

The retro round provides a unique opportunity to capture the essence of GB Galvanizing’s first race car: a NASCAR/AUSCAR that raced around the high speed Thunderdome. 

DAle Wood retro livery 2016

"The car not only looks awesome, but also is an opportunity for GB to display how long they’ve been in the sport,” said GB Galvanizing Racing’s Dale Wood.

"They were a big part of the AUSCAR/NASCAR scene back in the 90s, now they've become a consistent part of the motorsport scene. So it’s really thanks to Gian and Vince, because we wouldn’t have a sport without guys like them."

WoodRetro2016

Along with the likely sightings of heritage inspired mullets, the round itself will provide some unusual challenges for the teams and drivers, as much of the field...


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Get to know: Jamie Whincup

Six-time champion Jamie Whincup has answered Supercars.com’s quick questions ahead of his appearance on Inside Supercars this evening.

The points leader reveals who he’d most like to team up with at Mount Panorama from the current field of drivers if he could select someone he hadn’t raced with before, and gives us an insight into his travel ambitions and prowess in the kitchen.

VASC: Last concert or sporting event you attended?

JW: That’s a good question – it would’ve been the Australian Open tennis. One of the early days I just cruised around the outside. That was 18 months ago, so ages ago!

Do you have a signature dish in the kitchen?

Yeah, I feel like I make a good penne meat pasta – a heap of tomato sauce, stupid amounts of meat and some penne pasta. A little bit of chilli, a little bit of garlic, but it’s quite a hearty and meaty dish.

What is on your bucket list?

I’d like to...


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LDM's blast from the past

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport has had a different take on Sandown’s ‘retro round’ theme by celebrating a special piece of Phil Muday’s history.

Munday has been a long-time valued supporter of LDM, so the final design of the #222 Holden Commodore has been inspired by a sprint car Munday used to support back in the '70s.

The livery – on the car driven by Nick Percat and Cameron McConville – incorporates a design from Munday’s company logo from the very first panel shop he opened up in 1977 in Bayswater, Victoria.

Munday was thrilled to see the car in the flesh, with the team testing today at Winton to prepare for the enduros. 

“This was my very first company logo – it’s hard to believe it was almost 40 years ago,” Munday laughed. 

“It’s great to have a retro round where everyone has the chance to show off their old school designs.” 

Team owner Lucas Dumbrell was pleased to get on board...


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Van Der Drift gets first laps

Kiwi racing ace Chris Van Der Drift has completed his first laps in the Erebus Commodore he will share with Shae Davies throughout the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

The 30-year old said it was a childhood dream to race in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and jetted in from the UK on Saturday to prepare for today’s test and the weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500.

Testing a NewGen Brad Jones Racing Commodore two years ago whet Van Der Drift’s appetite, and now after a handful of laps at Winton Motor Raceway this morning he can’t wait for the enduros to kick off.

“It’s good, I’ve just had a few laps this morning so just getting into the groove,” he told supercars.com.

“It’s good having Shae so I can compare against him, and Craig and David [Baird and Reynolds in #9] as well. It has been good weather so far, so that’s nice.”

The Supercar is a different beast for Van Der Drift, who has...


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Real Insurance Memorable Moments: Sandown Raceway

Real Insurance is offering fans the chance to win the ultimate Supercars experience each event, by selecting the standout moment in years gone by.

This weekend the Championship tackles the first long-distance race of 2016 at the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

The historic race has produced so many great moments it’s difficult to narrow them down – here are some of the standouts from recent years. Vote for your favourite below.

Skaife prevails in hail

One of the standout finishes in recent years, Mark Skaife’s tussle with Jason Richards in hideous weather at Sandown was an exciting battle between the mighty Holden Racing Team and gutsy Kiwi Team Dynamik. 

An electrical issue for HRT meant Skaife was shutting down whatever he could to keep the car going to make the end of the race. Richards took a dive – on lap 140 of a race reduced to 141 laps – but came unstuck to end up in the ditch,...


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Two-day test locked in for Supergirls

Nissan Motorsport will run a two-day test for Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie after Sandown to ensure the ladies are comfortable in the Altima they will drive at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The switch to Nissan means a different car and team running the Harvey Normal Supergirls wild card entry this year, so the more time behind the wheel the better.

De Silvestro’s pre-Bathurst test was her first time steering a Supercar, while Dunlop Series Renee Gracie steers an older generation car in the Dunlop Series, so will also want plenty of time to get up to speed.

Speaking to supercars.com after the announcement of her commitment to the sport from 2017 and beyond, De Silvestro was hopeful there would be two days of testing, which will fall at Winton on Tuesday September 27 and Wednesday September 28.  

“Hopefully we’ll get two days of testing in before Bathurst – that’d be great...


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Fast Facts: Wilson Security Sandown 500

1. This year is the 45th running of the Wilson Security Sandown 500 since it was first held as the Sandown Six Hour back in 1964. It’s the 12th time the race has been included in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Virgin Australia Supercars Championship (1976-1977, 2003-2007, 2012-present).

2. Sandown has hosted more ATCC/VASC rounds than any other circuit – this year’s 500km enduro is the 47th time the venue has hosted a championship event.

3. Red Bull Racing Australia’s Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell are aiming for their third straight Sandown 500 pole position.
The last driver to achieve this was Queensland legend Dick Johnson, who in fact took four Sandown 500 poles in a row from 1987 to 1990.

Jamie Whincup of Red Bull Racing Australia during the Wilson Security Sandown 500, at the Sandown International Motor Raceway, Melbourne, Victoria, September 13, 2015.

4. However, just two of the last 29 races have been won by the car starting on pole – Craig Lowndes/Greg Murphy for the Holden Racing Team in 1996 and Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell for...


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Prodrive enduro preview: Chris O'Toole

The Pirtek Enduro Cup officially kicks off at the end of the week, with Prodrive Racing Australia having completed its pre-enduro final test day for 2016 last week. 

PRA team manager Chris O'Toole gave his views on the upcoming Wilson Security Sandown 500, which the team finished one-two last year with Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen victorious and Chaz Mostert/Cameron Waters coming home second in 2015. 

PRA: Off the back of the enduro test day, what are your thoughts/expectations as we head into the three endurance events?

CO: I think that the co-drivers are going to be a really strong asset for us. Deano (Dean Canto) is a bit of a plug and play driver really. He just turns up and drives, is really eager and he can do everything we want him to do, so from that side of things it's great. Steve, Jack, all of our co-drivers are the same.

The pit stop practice went a lot better than even I...


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Penrite Oil turns back the clock

Erebus Motorsport has stepped back in time, unveiling its 1960s inspired design for this weekend’s ‘Retro Round’, the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

Replacing the modern black and gold, David Reynolds and Craig Baird will sport a one-off design built around Penrite’s branding from the late 1950s through to early 1980s.

The duo will also carry the #90 on their Penrite Oil Commodore this weekend – as the Australian owned and made company celebrates its 90th anniversary.

Reynolds erebus retro bonnet 2016

“This retro livery is to celebrate Penrite’s 90 years of oil manufacturing in Australia,” Penrite Oil general manager of sales and marketing Toby Dymond said.

John and Margaret Dymond bought the company in 1979 and together with their nine children, Penrite Oil has grown to be a successful family owned and operated business.

“My dad was very passionate about oil and lubricant technology, he made it his life’s work to set...


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Winton secures Supercars for 2017

Winton Motor Raceway will host a Virgin Australia Supercars Championship event in 2017, Benalla Auto Club Group Chief Executive Officer Chris Lewis-Williams announced today.

Australia’s premier touring car category will return to the nation’s action track thanks to the continued efforts of the Winton team.

Supercars and the Victorian Government will assist in the promotion of both the event, and the attractions of North-East Victoria.

Mr Lewis-Williams said the return of Supercars was a win for the community.

“The Supercars event delivers significant and measurable benefits to the local economy – this year’s event delivered an $8.8 million boost to the community,” Mr Lewis-Williams said. 

“We’re very excited we’ve been able to reach an agreement to retain the Supercars Championship for next year, and we look forward to again promoting a top-class race meeting that showcases not just...


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On This Day: September 11, 1977

Today, 39 years ago – on Sunday September 11, 1977 – Hall of Famer Peter Brock claimed victory in the Hang Ten 400 touring car endurance classic at Sandown in Melbourne.

Given this year’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 is Retro Round for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, it’s a great chance to look back at history and see what was happening on this very day all those years ago.

Driving a new Holden Torana A9X Hatchback for Melbourne Holden dealer Bill Patterson, Brock won by a lap over the similar new A9X of Allan Grice and Ford star Allan Moffat, who had started at the back of the grid following engine problems in practice.

For Brock it was his third Sandown endurance race win in a row and fourth from five years to go with wins in 1973, 1975 and 1976.

Brock Sand 400 1977 AN1 Images

This was an era where Brock was most certainly in a league of his own on his home soil at Sandown in front of the huge...


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Saturday Sleuthing: GIO Nissan Sandown Winner

This year’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 is the ‘Retro Round’ of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with a range of teams adopting ‘old school’ colours for the first race of the Pirtek Endurance Cup.

So, this week on Saturday Sleuthing we’re winding back the clock to 1991 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘Godzilla’, Nissan’s mighty GT-R, claiming victory in the Sandown endurance classic.

While the factory car of Jim Richards and Mark Skaife won at Bathurst that year, the Sandown 500 race (then known as the Drink Drive 500) was won by the GIO-backed privateer GT-R owned by Bob Forbes and driven by Mark Gibbs and Rohan Onslow.

That race victory remains the car’s crowning achievement from its time spent racing in Group A competition over 1991 and 1992 and the great news is that the twin-turbo machine continues to race in on Historic Group A in Heritage Touring Cars with...


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Read more: Saturday Sleuthing: GIO Nissan Sandown Winner

Russell returns for enduros

Aaren Russell will return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship to co-drive with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Andre Heimgartner in the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

The 25-year old from Newcastle completed the first half of the season with Erebus Motorsport, and now joins LDM with sponsor Plus Fitness for the three high profile long distance events. 

Russell is set to test the LDM Commodore on Tuesday in the lead-up to the Wilson Security Sandown 500 and is pleased to be back on the grid much sooner than expected.

“I’m really looking forward to jumping back aboard a V8 Supercar again,” Russell said.

“I would love to sit here and tell everyone that I don’t miss driving them but that’s far from the truth. I’ve been edging to get back into a V8 Supercar from the minute I stopped, so I’m pretty pumped, to be honest.”

Russell is pleased to be pairing with Heimgartner, and thanked long-time...


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Van der Drift partners with Davies

Erebus Motorsport has locked in its newest driver line-up, with Shae Davies set to share his #4 Commodore with Chris van der Drift in this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.

The highly experienced Kiwi has been based in Europe since the beginning of 2003 and holds three European Championships – in Formula BMW, Formula Renault 2.0 and International Formula Masters.

His most recent championship came in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia last year, racking up seven victories, six pole positions and 10 podiums from just 14 races. Van der Drift currently races in the ADAC GT Masters in Germany and the China GT Championship.

“I am over the moon to have signed with Erebus, it has been a dream for many years to try and secure a drive and this is a great way for me to get my feet in the water,” he said.

“I am really looking forward to working with the guys in the team and the first race can’t come quick...


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Driver change challenge

Driver changes will be a hot talking point in the lead up to the Wilson Security Sandown 500, with teams looking at ways to work within a new rule implemented by Supercars.

The rule follows the FIA’s lead, banning elastics on the shoulder straps of the driver belts, which have been used in previous years to help hold the belts out of the way while the drivers switch during a race.

The FIA has found the elastics could have a huge effect on driver safety in the case of frontal impact, and Supercars technical and sporting director David Stuart believes it is important for the category to take notice.

Most Victorian teams conducted their pre-enduro test days at Winton on Tuesday and spoke about the effect the rule change had and working towards possible solutions to help alleviate the issue in the long-distance races.

Stuart said as long as the belts and buckle are not modified, teams...


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