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Damp in Dandenong – Sandown Crash Course

SANDOWN SUPERSPRINT GALLERY
Supercars’ first race event in Victoria since 2019 will go down as one of the most exciting in recent history. With thrilling dashes to the flag, a milestone for the Blue Oval, and the great equaliser wreaking havoc, the 2021 Sandown SuperSprint will be talked about for some time. Check out photo gallery below from the weekend and read on in our crash course on some of the big stories from Round 2.

Race 3 Thriller
Cam Waters started off the weekend with his fifth straight front row start (dating back to 2020), and led the majority of Race 3. The race’s final few laps displayed some of the best battles in touring cars, as Waters chased down Chaz Mostert who had pitted much earlier than the 26-year old in hopes of undercutting to the lead. After lunging and bumping for the lead, Waters finally got the move done with four laps to go, only to lose the lead at the start of the final lap to a charging Shane van Gisbergen, who had even fresher tyres at the race’s climax.

Mustang’s Milestone
In mixed conditions on early Sunday afternoon Waters was again running at the front, and despite being spun by Mostert with three laps to go held on to take second place in Race 4, marking the 100th podium for the Ford Mustang Supercar, in just 63 championship races since its introduction in 2019. Tickford Racing-prepared cars have accounted for 39 of those podiums.

Wet & Wild Sunday
Races 4 and 5 at Sandown were wet weather affairs, with the earlier Race 4 drying out just enough to put slick tyres on at the contest’s compulsory pit stop, and Race 5 being a soggy slugfest throughout. The wet track surface made for treacherous conditions on track, leading to a number of incidents between cars, including all three of the team’s Mustangs being spun at some point by another car. While Waters’ end result wasn’t affected by his last race tangle, both Jack Le Brocq and James Courtney were turned early in Races 4 and 5, respectively, making their climbs back through the pack more challenging. Le Brocq went from last to 12th in Race 4 to salvage a decent result, while Courtney muscled his way back to 15th by the end of Race 5. Despite the trials and challenges of the weekend, the garage pairing of Waters and Courtney has now climbed to third in the teams’ championship through two race events.

What’s Next
The championship next hops on the ferry across Bass Strait to Tasmania and Symmons Plains Raceway. At 2.41km in length, Symmons Plains is the shortest circuit on the Supercars calendar, and will feature a slightly modified qualifying format ahead of three races at the Tasmania SuperSprint, which takes place April 10-11.