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HomeNewsMurray wins carnage-filled Sandown Super2 finale

Murray wins carnage-filled Sandown Super2 finale

COOPER Murray claimed victory in a carnage-filled Sunday race for the Dunlop Series at the Sandown 500.

The Eggleston Motorsport pilot headed polesitter Brad Vaughan and overall round winner Ryan Wood, in a race marked by three separate Safety Car periods that meant only a handful of green-flag laps were completed.

Super2 Series leader Zak Best was one of the victims of the incidents, but retained his points lead by 33 markers with two rounds remaining.

After 31 laps of trouble-free racing on Saturday, several separate incidents brought the Safety Car out on the opening lap of Race 2.

Wood bogged down on the start and slipped to fourth, while Love made a flying start from the second row to take the lead from polesitter Vaughan into Turn 1.

There was plenty of drama unfolding behind them.

Mason Kelly ran wide on the exit of the first corner and bumped fellow Super3 runner Ryan Gilroy. The pair tangled again on the approach of Turn 2, the second bump sending the #89 Nissan into Jobe Stewart, which sent Gilroy spinning onto the grass.

At the same time, Nash Morris ran into the back of Cameron McLeod, which sent the Super3 polesitter into Lochie Dalton and broke the #92 Nissan’s front-left suspension.

More carnage occurred coming onto the back straight, with Matt Chahda spinning after contact with Cameron Crick, who then had James Masterton crash into his passenger’s door after tangling with Elly Morrow.

While McLeod and Crick limped back to the pits and retirement, Masterton’s stricken Mustang prompted the first Safety Car period of the race, while stewards elected to take no further action over any of the incidents.

More drama ensued on the restart.

Wood mugged Vaughan around the outside at Turn 1 to take second place, then began zeroing in on race leader Love.

Super2 round winner Ryan Wood. Pic: Ross Gibb

The battle for fourth ended in tears moments later with an incident that will be the subject of a post-race investigation. Zane Morse tagged the back of Best into Dandenong Road Corner, the magenta Mustang hitting the right-front corner of the championship leader’s Ford as it slid into the gravel.

Best recovered to resume down in 21st, but the damage to Morse’s car led to its front bumper shattering on the following lap on the back straight, prompting him to park the car at the Esses and draw another Safety Car.

Racing resumed on Lap 13 but it all kicked off again a couple of laps later, this time at the front of the field.

Wood tapped Love into a half-lose coming onto the front straight. The Kiwi propped, letting the Petronas Mustang recover, but it also allowed Vaughan, Allen and Murray to get a run on the battling leaders.

Wood made another dive at Love when they arrived at Turn 2, only to run off the road and compress the pack once again.

Wood, Vaughan and Love headed towards the back-straight kink three-wide, but contact between the WAU and Tickford cars, sent the silver Ford spinning into the fence and out of the race.

Meanwhile, the tangling leaders allowed Murray to race past by the time they arrived at the Esses, while Allen muscled his way past Wood to take third.

The subsequent Safety Car period set up a one-lap shootout to the finish.

Murray held on to take his second win of the year from Vaughan, while Wood picked off Allen for third place to take the final podium spot.

Dalton was the race’s final victim, getting tapped into a spin by Morris at Turn 2 to fall to 19th at the finish. Once again, stewards determined that no further action needed to be taken over the tangle.

Jobe Stewart claimed Super3 honours with 11th overall, his double-victory netting overall round honours that extends his points lead further following McLeod’s early exit.

Jett Johnson finished second in class for both the race and the round ahead of Valentino Astuti, while Gilroy recovered to finish fourth ahead of Kelly, who was black-flagged mid-race due to a flapping bonnet.

RESULTS: Race 2, Sandown Dunlop Series

188Cooper MurrayHolden Commodore ZBDS21:08.9348s
25Brad VaughanFord Mustang GTDS2+0.6067s
32Ryan WoodHolden Commodore ZBDS2+1.5632s
426Kai AllenHolden Commodore ZBDS2+2.0133s
525Zach BatesHolden Commodore ZBDS2+2.4s
654Jordyn SinniHolden Commodore ZBDS2+2.8729s
749Jay HansonHolden Commodore ZBDS2+3.3408s
870Jack PerkinsHolden Commodore ZBDS2+3.8728s
967Nash MorrisHolden Commodore ZBDS2+6.3096s
1027Aaron CameronFord Mustang GTDS2+6.654s
11999Jobe StewartHolden Commodore VFDS3+7.053s
1230Aaron SetonHolden Commodore ZBDS2+7.5185s
1317Zak BestFord Mustang GTDS2+8.0974s
14117Jett JohnsonNissan AltimaDS3+8.629s
1518Matt ChahdaHolden Commodore ZBDS2+8.7888s
163Valentino AstutiNissan AltimaDS3+9.0457s
1789Ryan GilroyNissan AltimaDS3+9.4217s
186Elly MorrowFord Mustang GTDS2+9.6798s
1943Lachlan DaltonHolden Commodore ZBDS2+17.0356s
2022Mason KellyNissan AltimaDS3+1 lap
2178Jordan LoveFord Mustang GTDS2NTR
2211Zane MorseFord Mustang GTDS2NTR
2392Cameron McLeodNissan AltimaDS3NTR
2438Cameron CrickHolden Commodore ZBDS2NTR
25219James MastertonFord Mustang GTDS2NTR
2633Callum WalkerHolden Commodore ZBDS2NTR

V8 Sleuth’s ongoing coverage of the Dunlop Series for Super2 and Super3 is proudly presented by Biante – Fuel your passion with winning model cars. Visit Biante here to check out their range of model cars in a range of scales from 1:64 to 1:10.

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