Sandown: Stone Brothers Racing preview

SANDOWN - FACTS AND FIGURES The following is a detailed lap of Sandown International Raceway to be used as the venue for the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 -- the ninth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend. Also find ...

SANDOWN - FACTS AND FIGURES

The following is a detailed lap of Sandown International Raceway to be used as the venue for the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 -- the ninth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.

INTERESTING POINTS FOR BETTA ELECTRICAL SANDOWN 500

* Marcos Ambrose will co-drive with Warren Luff in the Pirtek Falcon for this event while Russell Ingall will team up with Luke Youlden in the Caltex Ford

* Stone Brothers Racing finished 1-2 in this event last year with Ambrose and Greg Ritter beating home Ingall and Cameron McLean

* Stone Brothers Racing are coming off a 1-2 finish at the last round at Oran Park in Sydney where Ingall beat home Ambrose

* Ambrose set a blistering track record time 1:10.8251 on lap 120 of last year's Sandown race -- it beat the previous best time by almost 0.8 set by Craig Lowndes in 1999.

* The Betta Electrical Sandown 500 returned to Melbourne in 2003 after the traditional endurance race was lost to Queensland for several seasons.

THOUGHTS ON SANDOWN INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY--..

MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
This is a very exciting track because it creates no shortage of action. There are no high-speed corners. It comes down to 90- degree corners and long straights. I think the return of the 500km race format at Sandown has given us back a little bit of history. The weather also plays a part at some stage of the weekend.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
There is no doubt that our performance at Sandown in 2002 was one of the most dominating race weekends I have been a part of. SBR topped the time sheets in every session and we ran away with the races. To win the 500 last year really put another tick in a box for me and that is always pretty pleasing.

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
Commonly known as the Jon Davison 500, it was great to see a bit of tradition return to the championship in 2003. Endurance races are always a tough deal, but like Bathurst, the straights here give you a little bit of a rest. As we get to the business end of the season, this race is going to play a vital role in the outcome of the championship.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
The year that we won the 500 (1998) I lapped (Mark) Skaife who was in third place and that was pretty cool. Beaching the car in 2003 is certainly a memory I would prefer to erase. To comeback to finish second last year after being caught out in qualifying and starting 15th was also pretty satisfying.

A LOOK AT OUR CO-DRIVERS

LUKE YOULDEN -- CALTEX RACING
Team: Caltex Racing
Co-Driver: Russell Ingall
Car: #9 Caltex Ford

LUKE YOULDEN -- PROFILE

Youlden started his career in karts and progressed to Formula Ford where he actually won a support race at Bathurst in 1999 before going on to clinch the national championship the following year. In 2001 he was Australian GT Production Car Champion and in 2002 he won the Konica V8 race at Bathurst. He ran in the Konica Series in 2002 and again in 2003 before teaming up with Steve Ellery to finish second at Sandown and third and Bathurst. Last year he finished on equal points with Andrew Jones in the Konica-Minolta Championship, but was relegated to second place on the championship table on a count back. Youlden is currently third in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Championship after finish second outright on a count back at the last round at Oran Park in Sydney last month.

WARREN LUFF - PIRTEK RACING
Team: Pirtek Racing
Co-Driver: Marcos Ambrose
Car: #1 Pirtek

WARREN LUFF - PROFILE

In just a few short years Warren Luff has gone from a support category competitor to a respected V8 Supercar driver. Luff's first on-track experience occurred at Oran Park where as an eight-year old he completed some laps in an XE Falcon. By 1993 Luff decided to try his hand at motor racing. Unlike many of the current day driving stars Luff did not come through the traditional go-kart and Formula Ford channels. His first competitive event was the Eastern Creek six-hour race. Luff enjoyed two stints, each of an hour long, and in the process became hooked on motorsport. He has driven a host of touring cars and saloon-type cars all over the world including the famous 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in Germany. In 1999 Luff entered himself in the Mitsubishi Mirage Series and won the series and set lap records in every round along the way -- he did it again the following year. Having established himself as one of the nation's best up-and-coming finds Luff was thrust into the spotlight in 2002 when he won twelve races, including seven poles, in his championship-winning debut season in the V8 Brute Series. In 2003 Luff became a back-to-back champion taking out the V8 Brute series again and his efforts earned him a co-driver seat with Steve Johnson at Sandown and Bathurst where they finished 15th and 13th respectively. The following year he was at Dick Johnson Racing in the main game and teamed with Johnson again to finish third at Sandown and seventh at Bathurst. This year he has been a part of Decina Racing in the V8 HPDC Development Series where he is currently second.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall , Andrew Jones , Craig Lowndes , Luke Youlden , Greg Ritter , Warren Luff , Steve Johnson , Dick Johnson