Endurance season is finally here, with Fabian Coulthard and Lee Holdsworth getting behind the wheel with Nick Percat and Chaz Mostert!
For the first time since 2019, Sandown returns as an endurance event and what better track to have it at, than one right around the corner from home!
It’s a jam packed three days on track which sees Friday as Practice Day, with three 30-minute on track sessions: Practice 1 and 3 with all drivers and Practice 2 with co-drivers.
Saturday starts off with the final practice session for all drivers before a 20-minute qualifying session that determines 11th – 27th on the grid, with a Top 10 shootout to round out the day.
Sunday is the big day, with a 20-minute warm-up in the morning before lights go out at 2.15pm AEST for the 500km, 161 lap Race 23.
Built in the early 1960’s, it is one of the most historic circuits on the calendar, draped with history.
It’s a short lap, at 3.1kms, but filled with action in the 13-corners that wrap around the horse racing track in the middle. The best passing opportunity is into turn 1 and 10, the heavy braking zones.
Fabian Coulthard is back for another endurance season with the team, this time paired with Nick, he comes off a successful co-driver season in 2022 with a second-place finish at the Bathurst 1000.
Last time Lee Holdsworth was teamed up with Chaz they did pretty well, winning the 2021 Bathurst 1000, both drivers are looking to repeat that success this endurance season.
We are back on the Dunlop Super-Soft tyre all weekend, for the first time since Darwin.
It’s a bit different this weekend, there are no compulsory pit stop requirements. So how much fuel you take, and when, will be the big question, it all depends on strategy.
It will be all go during pitstops, with a tight pit lane, the spike will be on the fast lane due to the driver change happening on the inside, leaving minimal room for error.
It’s looking to be a hot and sunny weekend with no clouds in the sky, but in typical Melbourne fashion, the weather could change in an instant.
How to Watch
Fox Sports and Kayo will have you covered for every session live across the weekend. For the Kiwi fans Sky Sports will cover all of the on-track action.
For the full TV guide, please CLICK HERE.
“Its my favourite time of the year, I love enduro season, these are the races you really want to win!
“I’m excited to have my mate Leethal with me, the last time we drove together we did pretty well, it’s awesome to have him back with the team.
“It’s going to be a big learning weekend, it’ll be interesting to see how the Gen3 reacts to a 500km race as it’s the longest we’ve gone in these cars.”
“I’m back! I’ve been itching to get back behind the wheel with Chaz since our Bathurst 1000 win in 2021.
“It’s great to have Sandown return to the endurance calendar for the first time since 2019, it’s a great lead-up to Bathurst at the beginning of next month.
“Looking forward to being back with the boys, the test days have been really productive so I can’t wait.”
“Awesome to have Fabs alongside me this year for endurance season, there is no doubt he is one of the best co-drivers in the field.
“It’s great having the Sandown 500 back, it’s an awesome track to drive, and being so close to our home in Clayton makes it extra special.
“The guys and girls at the workshop have been hard at work getting these cars prepped for 500kms around Sandown, the furthest we have driven the Gen3, but overall, really excited for these next two events.”
“It’s great to be back with the WAU team again, we had some good success last endurance season and we are looking to repeat that this year!
“Really looking forward to teaming up with Nick, I’ve spent heaps of time with him and the team this year, as well as the test days behind the wheel so I’m ready to get out there.
“It’ll be a lot to learn, a lot to adjust to but I am feeling confident going into this weekend with what we can achieve.”