The return of the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 to Melbourne this weekend is shaping as a record-breaking achievement as locals warm to the re-emergence of endurance racing in Victoria.

A swell of support has already been experienced through pre-purchased ticket sales and after a four-year absence of the two-driver format to Australia's sporting capital, there's great anticipation that the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 will surpass all expectations.

"The Betta Electrical Sandown 500 is back at it's rightful home in Melbourne and its return spells a massive victory for the many V8 Supercar fans of Victoria," said IMG director of motorsport, James Ashworth. "To complement the shift, the fans are voting with their feet and turning up in droves to ensure a trackside seat for this remarkable homecoming of one of Australia's great races.

"For the first time in AFL history there won't be matches played in Melbourne for the second week of the football finals, but locals are still assured of top quality sports action as this nation's best V8 Supercar drivers show their wares.

"We certainly extend a warm invitation to sports fans right across the State and encourage those who have yet to attend a V8 Supercar race to come out and sample what this great sport has to offer.

"Come watch the other big men fly at the Sandown International Raceway."

Organisers are bracing themselves for a flood of support and with corporate sales tracking just as positively, the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 is likely to go down as one of the most memorable events on the 2003 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series calendar.

"Corporate tickets have been totally sold out for Sunday's race for quite some time and there are only limited tickets still available for Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions," added Ashworth. "The excitement of the top 10 shootout on Saturday afternoon is another drawcard and with Aussie Racing Cars, Historic Touring Cars, Formula Ford, Carrerra Cup and Sports Sedans on the support programme, the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 shapes as the place to be this weekend."



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