The Wilson Security Sandown 500 will get underway in a little under a week away, our editorial team at apexnews.co.nz have made their predictions on who they think will win it this year.
This is an obvious pick for me, but it’s the one I think will win the Sandown 500 this year. I truly believe Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell will be the ones to beat and will win at Sandown. Whincup is on form after winning the most recent race at the Sydney SuperSprint, and Dumbrell is the quickest co-driver in the field but their only hurdle which tripped them up the last two years is pit strategy and rookie errors. 2015 saw Red Bull screw the fuel strategy before a flat tyre causing two extra pit stops than anyone else, then last year Dumbrell loosened the seatbelt while the car was moving causing a PLP for them. This year, they will need everything to go right so they can beat the Shell V-Power boys at Sandown, and I think they will do it.
Chaz Mostert has been the only driver that has closely challenged the front runners within DJR Team Penske and Red Bull Holden Racing Team. I believe the pairing of Mostert and Steve Owen can challenge for the Sandown 500 win. Chaz Mostert scored a top 5 finish in 2016 (5th place) and a podium finish in 2015 (2nd place) at Sandown and has proven this year he still is in the fight for the 2017 Supercars Championship. Steve Owen won the Sandown 500 in 2015 alongside Mark Winterbottom and has proven that he is a solid co-driver that can compete with the high-rollers. With the help from Adam De Borre, this outfit has already had a few wins in 2017 and could be one more at Sandown.
This was a no-brainer for me, but I believe the winners of this years Sandown 500 will be Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat. Scott McLaughlin has been pretty much the fastest driver this year, and with good momentum coming into the enduros, he and Premat will be looking to start their endurance cup campaign off with a Sandown win. Premat has shown he is one of the best co-drivers in the field throughout the last few years, with strong results with Mclaughlin in the Volvo, and the endurance cup win last year with Shane Van Gisbergen. With this pairing coming back together for 2017, I have no doubt they will be the ones to beat.
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