AUSF3: UTE: Sandown 500 driver preparation

Sandown 500 Entry Call Starts Race To Sign Top Endurance Drivers DOZENS of Australia's fastest drivers are on the shopping lists of motor racing teams preparing for the return of the famous Sandown 500 in Melbourne next month, following the ...

Sandown 500 Entry Call Starts Race To Sign Top Endurance Drivers

DOZENS of Australia's fastest drivers are on the shopping lists of motor racing teams preparing for the return of the famous Sandown 500 in Melbourne next month, following the official opening of entries today.

Organisers PROCAR Australia and Jon Davison, of Sandown International Raceway, announced the 500 kilometre race on Sunday 16 September will field 49 production-based cars, each with two or three drivers.

"Now that entries are open, the teams will be racing to snap up the best co-drivers available here and overseas," PROCAR Chief Executive Ross Palmer said.

"Endurance races create a big demand for experienced co-drivers and each regular driver will be required under the rules to have one or two.

"The Sandown 500 is a prestigious race and I'm sure there will be plenty of candidates from other categories keen to show their talent in a Ferrari or something similar."

The Sandown 500, which is resuming after a two-year break, will be the highlight of a three-day PROCAR Series meeting at the Melbourne suburban circuit.

Entries will be drawn for the first time from the Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship and the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship, both categories for vehicles derived from showroom production models.

Ross Palmer said the field was expected to include the biggest variety of makes in the 500's 37-year history, such as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Mustang, BMW, HSV, Volkswagen, Viper and Jaguar.

"The Sandown 500 has a fantastic history, but for a team to put its name on the record this year as winners against such a diverse range of competing makes will be truly special," he added.

The 106-lap enduro will not count for the 2001 Nations Cup or GTP championships, although the cars will compete for double points in special one-race sprint rounds the day before.

Other races on the weekend program will be for the Poolrite V8 BRute Muster, Australian Formula 3 Championship and Toyo Mitsubishi Mirage Series.

A Top Gun Challenge on Saturday will determine which of the 10 fastest qualifiers will take pole position for the race start at 12 noon the following day.

Rules for the 33rd Sandown 500 will include three or four compulsory pit stops - depending on the vehicle class - for driver and tyre changes and refuelling.

-Procar-

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Series Supercars , F3
Tags AUSGTP-P, AUSUTE