The Pirtek Endurance Cup got underway on the weekend at the Sandown 500 &, for Dean & Dave, it was all about the number 5!
The format for the first endurance round is unique with a qualifying session & then two qualifying races before the big race on Sunday.
Saturday morning saw Dave complete the qualifying session where he pushed hard to get the car into 5th spot. Then it was time for the first qualifying race which was a co-driver only race. Dean kept it clean & managed to make up one spot finishing in 4th position. Then it was Dave’s turn to jump back in the car for his qualifying race. He finished the race in 5th position. Both of the guys had a tough day & weren’t overly happy with the pace of the car.
Dean: “Saturday was a tough day. We didn’t have the speed we were hoping for & spent a lot of time trying to work out how to get more out of the car”
The team made the decision to make an engine change on Saturday evening. After the warm-up session Sunday morning, they were both more confident with the setup & the pace of the car & were looking forward to the race.
Sunday afternoon rolled around & Car 55 would start the Sandown 500 in 5th position. The task was on Dean to start the race. At Lap 57, Dean’s job was done for the day & he handed the car over to Dave. Dave rejoined the field in (you guessed it) 5th! Both of the guys performed strongly but battled with handling & speed. Dave brought the car home in 5th!
Dean: “It was a really tough race. After the Sunday warm up we were pretty confident but we still just didn’t have the race pace to push any harder. Fifth is still a great start to the endurance season & now we just have to shift our focus to Bathurst.”
Their strong finish not only secured them their best finish together at Sandown but also bagged a heap of points to move Dave into 3rd position in the overall Championship.
The next round of the Pirtek Endurance Cup is the Bathurst 1000 & will take place on October 8th – 11th.