V8 Supercars: Frosty move doesn't stop Lowndes' Sandown win

Craig Lowndes celebrates his Sandown 500 win. Photo / Getty Images
Craig Lowndes celebrates his Sandown 500 win. Photo / Getty Images

Holden driver Craig Lowndes snared the Sandown 500 on Sunday but it was a controversial late move from Mark Winterbottom that captured the spotlight.

Winterbottom shouldered his Ford past defending V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup with two laps remaining to grab second spot.

Whincup had earlier surrendered the lead to his Team Vodafone teammate Lowndes 20 laps from the finish of the 161-lap race.

He finished third but at least stretched his one-point championship lead over Winterbottom to 31 points thanks to qualifying points from Saturday.

Whincup was on track to repeat the win he took when the long distance race was last held at the Melbourne track in 2007 before visiting Phillip Island for four years.
He and co-driver Paul Dumbrell produced a superb effort to carve their way through the field from 19th on the grid.

But he was undone by a small brake lock-up which led to an off-track excursion and Lowndes pounced.

Ford Performance Racing's Winterbottom and Whincup both had horror qualifying runs on Saturday, with Whincup making driving errors and Winterbottom forced to start from the rear of the grid after an infringement.

Whincup said later he thought Winterbottom's late pass on Sunday, which forced him off the tarmac, was "not on".

"I was a little bit sour about that," Whincup said. "It was a late lunge but I congratulated Frosty (Winterbottom) after the race.

"At the end of the day it wasn't a huge deal because I wasn't quick enough to win the race."

Winterbottom said he had no qualms about the pass, saying had Whincup been in his position he would have made the same move.

"Sometimes you're on the end of it, sometimes you're the guy that does the pass," Winterbottom said.

Lowndes has narrowed the gap in the championship and lies third heading into next month's Bathurst 1000.

"I'm looking forward to heading up there and if we can make the car as nice as we had it today I'm sure we're in for a strong showing," Lowndes said.

"And we also showed today you're going to have to have a fast car because there's a lot of speedy teams out there with good drivers."

- AAP

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