Sandown Raceway

Motorsport venue
Name = Sandown International Raceway | Location = Melbourne, Australia


Owner = Melbourne Racing Club
Opened = 1962-03-11
Events = V8 Supercars, Easternats
Length_km = 3.1
Length_mi = 1.94
Turns = 13
Direction = anti-clockwise
Record_time = 1:08.3559
Record_driver = Simon Wills
Record_team = Reynard 94D Holden
Record_year = 1999
Record_class = Formula Holden

Sandown International Raceway is a motor racing circuit in Melbourne, Victoria, approximately convert|25|km|mi|0 south east of the city centre.

History

Sandown Racecourse was first built as a horse racing facility, dating back into the 19th century, but closed in the 1930s in a government run rationalisation program. Redevelopment began not long after World War II. A bitumen motor racing circuit was built around the outside of the proposed horse track (which was not completed until 1965) and was first opened in 1962 and held the race which became the Sandown 500 for the first time in 1964. This race was one of the 'endurance' races in the V8 Supercar calendar.

Motor racing

When Sandown first opened in 1962 it held the Sandown International Cup, which featured world-famous drivers such as Stirling Moss and Bruce McLaren. Throughout the 1960s and 70s the race meetings continued to attract international stars along with the best of Australia's drivers.

Australia's traditional Holden/Ford rivalry really surfaced at the track in the late 1960s and through the 1970s until Peter Brock won seven meetings in a row, out of a total of nine.

1984 saw the first appearance of Group A touring cars and an extension of the track to convert|3.9|km|mi|1. It also saw the first 500 km race, named the Castrol 500. In 1989 the track reverted back to convert|3.1|km|mi|1.

The 1990, 1993 and 1994 events had no major sponsor and were underwritten by Jon Davison.

Sandown held the Australian Grand Prix in 1964, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1976 and 1978

V8 Supercars

With the creation of the V8 Supercars series, they included the Sandown 500 event as part of their calendar until 1998. The race was then held as a sprint round until 2000, then as three 150 km races with pit stops in 2001 and 2002. The event was won by Todd Kelly in 2001 and by Marcos Ambrose in 2002. They returned to the 500 km format in 2003 with a sponsorship deal with Betta Electrical and have been a large part of the series since. The 2003 event was won by Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly for the Holden Racing Team. In 2004 it was won by Marcos Ambrose and Greg Ritter in a Pirtek-backed Stone Brothers Racing Falcon. In 2005, it was won by Craig Lowndes and Frenchman Yvan Muller in a Betta Electrical backed Falcon. In 2006, Ford Performance Racing got its maiden endurance victory with Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright. In 2007, the major sponsor of the Sandown 500 is Just-Car Insurance and the event is called the Just Car Insurance 500, and was won by Craig Lowndes, his fourth victory, and Jamie Whincup.

For the 2008 season, the 500 kilometre endurance race has been moved to the Phillip Island. Sandown remains on the calendar, but will host a regular sprint race format. The 2008 event from 7th to 9th June was known as the Midas 400.

EasterNats

Easternats is a car festival held at the race track annually. It attracts a large number of entrants for the show'n'shine and various other events. It comprises usually a turn out of 750 entered vehicles.

External links

* [http://www.sandown.net.au Sandown Raceway]
* [http://www.easternats.com.au Easternats]
* [http://www.sandown400.com/ Sandown 400]
* [http://www.v8supercar.com.au/circuits/circuitmfcts.asp?vid=114&ind=M V8 Supercar's info of Sandown Raceway]


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