Winterbottom, Owen, lead PRA home in 1-2
Mark Winterbottom and co-driver Steve Owen led home Prodrive Racing Australia teammates Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters to take victory in the Wilson Security Sandown 500
"To win here and stop the run of the other blokes, it's been very very dominant," said Winterbottom following the win.
"Steve [Owen] did a great job, the car was good in stints and bad in stints. I'm so happy for Steve and the team, and for myself as well."
The opening stages of the race saw co-driver to Red Bull Racing's Jamie Whincup, Paul Dumbrell, extending the lead to nine seconds. However towards the end of Dumbrell's stint, fading tyres allowed Jonathan Webb to come within a second of the Red Bull Racing Commodore before the pit stops.
A longer pit stop by Webb saw the Whincup and Dumbrell rejoin the race with a five second lead.
Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat's challenge for victory took an hit early when two pit lane infringment's resulted in back-to-back drive through penalties. Despite falling a lap down, McLaughlin recovered to fourteenth.
The middle stanza of the race saw pole sitter Jamie Whincup run faultlessly, until a puncture late in the race ended their challenge for victory. Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell fell a lap down, but eventually recovered to finish a credible 15th place.
New Zealand's Shane van Gisbergen had been running strong in second place, until a mistake late in the race saw the Tekno Autosport driver lock up and run wide at the turn nine Dandenong Road. This allowed the pairing of Mostert and Waters to move into second, but with questions over fuel, van Gisbergen was unable to challenge the leading pair of Falcons.
The prospect of many falling short on fuel appeared likely, until a late safety car period for debris saved many another trip to pitlane.
The safety car on lap 133 setup a two car duel for the win, teammates Winterbottom and Mostert running bumper to bumper. Despite a spirited challenge by Mostert, Winterbottom held on to take his first Sandown 500 victory, and the first Ford 1-2 finish since 2004 by Stone Brothers Racing.
Behind, with concerns over fuel, van Gisbergen held off a hard charging Garth Tander to take the final podium position. Tander and Richard, David Reynolds/Dean Canto, Tim Slade/Tony D'Alberto, Lee Holdsworth/Sebastien Bourdais, Tim Blanchard/Karl Reindler, Jack Pekins/Russel Ingall, and Rick Kell/David Russel completing the top ten.
Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat finished second best of the New Zealand contingent. Fabian Coulthard and Luke Youlden finished sixteenth, the all New Zealand outfit of Super Black Racing's Andre Heimgartner and Ant Pedersen finished seventeenth, whilst co-driver Chirs Pither finished twenty first in the Volvo s60 with David Wall.