Luke Youlden held firm to take out the opening Qualifying Race and give Stone Brothers Racing a long-awaited victory in the first of the two Dick Smith Sandown 500 20-lap qualifying races.
Piloting team-mate Shane van Gisbergen’s SP Tools Racing Falcon, Youlden made a great start jumping into the lead from third on the grid, ahead of polesitter John McIntyre in the Tradingpost FPR Falcon.
Despite coming under attack from McIntyre for much of the race, Youlden resisted the pressure to claim the win and 50 championship points.
With four laps to go, McIntyre made a mistake at the final turn as his rear tyres faded which opened the door to The Bottle-O Racing Team’s Dean Canto and TeamVodafone’s Paul Dumbrell.
Dumbrell who had started out in tenth, then found his way past Canto on the penultimate lap to follow Youlden home by 0.2s.
McIntyre finished fourth, with Warren Luff taking fifth in the second TeamVodafone Commodore.
It was a disastrous start for Orrcon Steel FPR’s Steven Richards, when Paul Morris in the VIP Petfoods Racing Falcon collided with Lockwood Racing’s David Besnard on the opening lap, who in turn pushed Steven Richards into a spin. Morris was handed a drive-through penalty for the contact and was relegated to 28th, while Richards recovered to 19th. And it was to get worse following the race after the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon was excluded for a post-race parc-ferme infringement, leaving Mark Winterbottom to start Qualifying Race 2 from the back of the grid.
With Winterbottom’s entry not scoring and Dumbrell collecting the points for second, Whincup’s championship lead increases to 31 points.
The finishing order sets the grid order for the second qualifying race for the main drivers.
Full Qualifying Race 1 result:
|1||SP Tools Racing||Luke Youlden||Ford Falcon FG||20||23:57.8838|
|2||TeamVodafone||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VE2||20||23:58.1048|
|3||The Bottle-O Racing||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG||20||23:58.3484|
|4||Trading Post FPR Ford||John McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||20||23:59.8790|
|5||TeamVodafone||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:00.1831|
|6||Holden Racing Team||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:01.1582|
|7||Tekno Autosports||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:01.5507|
|8||Lucky 7 Racing||Andrew Thompson||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:02.4490|
|9||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Greg Ritter||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:02.7321|
|10||Team Norton DJR||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:04.8367|
|11||Holden Racing Team||Cameron McConville||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:05.1772|
|12||Jack Daniel’s Racing||David Russell||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:06.6871|
|13||Team BOC||Andrew Jones||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:07.0057|
|14||Irwin Racing||Craig Baird||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:09.0900|
|15||Jim Beam Racing||Matthew Halliday||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:11.8509|
|16||Team Hiflex||Dale Wood||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:12.3545|
|17||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:12.6725|
|18||Wilson Security Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:15.6390|
|19||Orrcon Steel FPR Ford||Steven Richards||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:16.0105|
|20||Supercheap Auto Racing||Christian Klien||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:16.3424|
|21||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:22.3482|
|22||Pepsi Max Crew||Owen Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:22.9355|
|23||Team iSelect||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:25.0211|
|24||Lockwood Racing||David Besnard||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:25.5572|
|25||Fair Dinkum Racing||Daniel Gaunt||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:26.2122|
|26||Tekno Autosports||Jonny Reid||Holden Commodore VE2||20||24:26.5340|
|27||Jim Beam Racing||Allan Simonsen||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:32.9682|
|28||VIP Petfoods||Paul Morris||Ford Falcon FG||20||24:58.7932|