Sandown 500: Aaren Russell closes gap in the wet

Aaren Russell and co-driver Taz Douglas made a promising start to the Sandown 500 race weekend on a rain-sodden track on Friday.

Russell struggled near the back of the field in his comeback Supercars event when called up at short notice for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport at Townsville in July.

But the Novocastrian said the unpredictability of the Enduro Cup races would help his cause, and so it proved on a rainy day of practice at Sandown on Friday.

Russell’s co-driver, Taz Douglas, was last on the time sheets in the morning’s first practice run on a dry track, but Russell took the wheel in the second session and rose to 19th as rain turned the track into an ice rink.

Douglas climbed to 15th in the day’s final practice.

The forecast for Sunday afternoon’s race is for sunshine.