Commencing in 1964, the Sandown 500, officially recognised as the Penrite Oil Sandown 500, has been an annual fixture in endurance motor racing. Hosted at the Sandown Raceway in Melbourne, Australia, this event has etched its name in the annals of motorsport history, captivating enthusiasts and drivers alike.
Throughout its journey, the Sandown 500 has navigated a course of evolution, witnessing changes that have shaped its being. From its inaugural days to the present, alterations to the event’s name, race distance, and participating vehicle categories have contributed to its dynamic nature, keeping motorsport magazines through the years on their toes.
This blog will look at the history and evolution of this amazing competition.
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The Origin of The Amazing Sandown 500
The event’s origins can be dated back to November of 1964, when a 6-hour production vehicle race was held for the first time. The race only ran for a total of two times before it was discontinued.
After being renamed the Datsun 3-Hour Trophy Race in 1968, the event was moved to September, which allowed Sandown to serve as the form guide for the Bathurst 1000.
The race went from being a timed event to a 250-mile race in 1970, and it was conducted under the moniker Sandown 250 for the next six years. During this time, the rules of the race were fully synchronised with those of Bathurst for 1972.
The event was renamed in 1976 to reflect its new distance of 400 km rather than 250 miles, and it also gained significant sponsorship from the apparel business Hang Ten at that time.
The Hang Ten 400 moniker was used from 1976 to 1981, despite considering that the distance of the race in 1980 had only been planned to be 338 km.
This happened again in 1982 when race officials attempted to strike a compromise between their obligations to the media and their wish to keep the 400 moniker.
Companies Linked With The Competition
In 1982, Castrol purchased the rights to use its name in conjunction with the Sandown 400, which resulted in significant alterations in 1984.
In 1984, the contest was conducted on the lengthier Sandown circuit (international), which included an innovative infield loop. This event coincided with a change to the now-standard 500-kilometre time limit for the race.
The lengthy circuit at Sandown was utilised for the first five runnings of the Sandown 500 until it was discontinued to accommodate the standard configuration.
Since 1984, Sandown 500 remains known by a total of 14 distinct names, and many companies, including Penrite Oil, have supported it.
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Some Peculiar Statistics
This amazing race has been postponed twice since the beginning of the current era because the Supercars series moved its 500km structure to other locations.
The Bathurst pre-race warm-up was conducted at Queensland Raceway from 1999 to 2002, but it was moved to Phillip Island from 2008 to 2011.
During the first of those pauses, the now-defunct Procar organisation stepped in to fill the void and ran the renowned Sandown 500 with a field consisting of a combination of GT and production cars in 2001 and 2002.
This added some peculiar statistics to the annals of Sandown 500’s time, such as former Australian Rules football player Sam Newman winning the pole position while driving a Ferrari in the race in 2002!
Throughout each of those hiatuses in the Supercars schedule, Sandown continued to serve as the sprint round, much as it would during the seasons to come.
This competition is guaranteed to provide incredible statistics and fascinating races; to remain up to speed on all of this, follow Sandown 500 news.
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The Competition’s Hall Of Fame
It should come as no surprise that the bulk of the country’s greatest touring car brands are on the honour list of Sandown.
Peter Brock is now at the top of the list of all-time winners with nine victories, the same amount he won at Bathurst. Brock won an incredible 7 Sandowns in a row beginning in 1975.
Allan Moffat currently sits in second place on the list of most victories, thanks to his sixth and last victory at Sandown in 1988, his final significant victory while driving on Australian territory.
Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, two of the greatest drivers of modern times, competed in the competition together for the first time in 2019 after winning it in 2007.
Mark Winterbottom in 2015, Richie Stanaway and Cameron Waters in 2017, Garth Tander in 2016, and Warren Luff in 2012 and 2016 are the other champions from previous years who competed in the 2019 competition.
The record for the most wins:
- Peter Brock won nine.
- Allan Moffat won six.
- Craig Lowndes won five.
- Jamie Whincup won four.
- Larry Perkins, George Fury, John Bowe, and Paul Dumbrell won three.
These fantastic racers have dominated the competition for a long time, but the possibility of an exciting new twist increases each year. Keep up with motorsport magazines to stay current on these new twists.