Steven Ellery and Luke Youlden will be out to repeat last seasons endurance racing success when the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 gets underway this weekend.

The duo, driving the Super Cheap Auto Racing Falcon, finished second at Sandown in 2003 and followed that up with another podium at Bathurst.

Ellery is keen to repeat the performance once racing gets underway this weekend.

"The only thing that has changed since last year is that Luke has obtained another 12 months worth of driving experience and I have trained harder at the gym and built my fitness to the highest level it has ever been," he said. "When you consider these two critical elements, Super Cheap Auto Racing is in a stronger position than last year when we came second at the Betta Electrical Sandown 500.

"It [second position] was the ultimate high, after going through a really rough time before Sandown, no other team needed the second position more than us. Sandown is one of my favourite races along with Bathurst, I was happy to have the race back on the calendar and to achieve such a fantastic result on the return of the event was just great. It wasn't a win, but it was so close and felt just as good."

After a strong season in the 2004 Konica Minolta Championship, Youlden is feeling positive about mixing it with the 'big boys' during the 500 kilometre endurance race and he admits that he would love another strong finish to show everybody what he can do.

"I am feeling very confident about Sandown," he said. "At our last test day I felt really comfortable with the car set up, especially after making the change from the Super Cheap Auto Racing AU Falcon which I campaigned in the Konica series to Steven's BA.

"I know this year we will go into the event with a bit more respect. I was so proud to be part of Super Cheap Auto Racing last year when we came out fighting and surprised everybody with second position.

"While a number of other co-drivers finding themselves in a position where there is pressure on them for the sake of their team mate's standing in the championship, there are also the unspoken demands that a co-driver places on themselves for their own sake. Sandown and Bathurst are the only chance young drivers like myself have to race against the benchmark of the main series in equal cars and conditions and prove ourselves, so a good result is also critical for my future."

Team Manager John McLean is also confident heading into the race after a strong testing session at Queensland prior to the race weekend.

"At Super Cheap Auto Racing's recent test at Queensland the team tried a few things in relation to chassis set up which resulted in both Steven and Luke being extremely happy with the car," he said. "We also made some changes to the brakes and with we will go to Sandown with a better Super Cheap Auto Racing Falcon."

 

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