Sandown Raceway - Home of horsepower
Although Sandown Raceway is not the one of the most exciting or the most demanding racing circuits in Australia, it is one of the most popular circuits as it hosts the endurance Sandown 500 race.
In the suburb of Melbourne
The circuit is located 25 km south-east of the Melbourne’s city centre, in the suburb of Springvale. Originally, at the end of 19th century, Sandown was designed to be a horse racing facility but was closed in the 1930s. Preparations and redevelopment of the venue for the motorsport racing circuit started after World War II. It was ready to host the first race in 1962 despite not being completely finished. Three years later, horse racing track was also completed. Sandown Raceway likes to present itself as the ’Home of horsepower’.
Racing circuit with two long straights
Current length of the track is 3.104 km and has 13 turns, but this simply designed track is best known for its long straights of 899 and 910 meters respectively. An original circuit which was used from 1962 until 1984 was 3.100 km long and had only eight turns while the circuit used from 1984 until 1998 was 3.878 km long and had 17 turns.
Sandown 500 is the circuit’s trademark with special place in history
Throughout its history, Sandown hosted many racing series, One of them was the Australian Grand Prix which took place at the circuit for the last time in 1978, seven years before the race became part of the Formula 1 World championship. Local authorities prevented Sandown from becoming the host of the Formula 1 race. They refused to give a financial support and the event was assigned to Adelaide. World Sportscar Championship events and Tasman Series were also regular at Sandown, but the famous 500 endurance race is a definite trademark of the venue.
Sandown 500 race was held in 1964 for the first time and in the following year sprint round was held as well. Throughout the decades, Sandown hosted both endurance and sprint races as one of the most important dates in the Australian Touring Cars Championship racing calendar, but interestingly, the audience response was always low and the track recorded a significant financial loss.
Long-term contract with V8 Supercars
Today, Sandown 500 is a part of V8 Supercars championship. In 2007, track owners secured a long-term contract with the series which allowed a significant improvement of the track’s safety and pit and paddock facilities. Soon afterwards, spectators facilities and horse racing track were also improved.
Peter Brock dominated the famous race
The most successful driver in Sandown 500 is legendary Peter Brock with nine victories, seven of them being consecutive from 1975 to 1981. Allan Moffat scored six wins at Sandown while Craig Lowndes has five wins on his account.
Video – 1988 Sandown Peter Brock onboard
The lap record holder is Tom Tweede. Driving a Chevrolet Chevron in the 2013 Historic Sandown race, he set lap time 1:05.7669 which is three seconds faster than the time set by V8 Supercars legend Jamie Whincup who holds the lap record for touring cars. Driving a Holden VF Commodore in 2013, his fastest lap was 1:08.6203.
Noise is not popular in the neighbourhood
Sandown Raceway also hosts other non-competitive racing events, like Historic Sandown, the annual event held every first weekend in November. Other sports are more than welcome at Sandown. Local cycling clubs regularly organize events during the summer season and also athletics cross-country event is held twice a year.
Another important fact about Sandown Raceway is that because it is near to the residential area, full racing weekends could be held only five times a year and the noise could not exceed 95 decibels.
Address: Sandown Raceway, 591-659 Princes Hwy, Springvale, Vic 3171, Australia
Phone: +61 3 9518 1362