The greats applaud Whincup's sixth title

  • 07/12/2014
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Today Jamie Whincup has officially become the all-time greatest V8 Supercars driver, awarded his record-smashing sixth Championship title at the 2014 grand finale, the Sydney NRMA 500.

Crossing the line for five titles last year put him in esteemed company, with Dick Johnson, Mark Skaife and Ian Geoghegan. Today he has surpassed them - and has resoundingly done sofor the sixth time.

"It's undoubtedly an extremely good job, and he deserves it, as simple as that," Johnson told v8supercars.com.au.

"The guy has driven extremely well and in saying so deserves to win another Championship - it's absolutely fantastic.

"It's a tough business to be in and he's survived."

The interesting side of Johnson's story is that his team has been the only one able to stop Whincup's incredible winning streak, which started in 2008. James Courtney stopped the run in 2010 - something that still seems to have some sting for the highly-competitive Whincup.

"To stop his run in 2010 was great for our team and I think it was well accepted by everyone. But in saying that, the guy has been very, very consistent all year and has put a good deal together and has a fantastic team around him," Johnson said.

"You need more than a driver to win a Championship - you need a good team, a good bunch of people and a good budget. And they tick all the boxes."

His Triple Eight team - now Red Bull Racing Australia - is definitely a key part of Whincup's success.

"It's a very complex sport, very difficult from a personnel standpoint to have everyone in harmony and cohesive in terms of the way a team operates," Skaife explained to v8supercars.com.au.

"It's always hard - if you haven't got the right people and the right structure around you, it doesn't work... In this particular case, Roland and the team - the Mark Dutton, Jeromy Moore, David Cauchi, and all the guys - are the best at thinking on their feet.

"They prepare better, but they also think on their feet better, but they make less mistakes."

Skaife said Whincup and the team's feat was nothing short of incredible.

"As I said it's such a complex game - that's why I've always said the most rewarding part of winning in our sport is how hard it is getting all of those things together and make it gel.

"It's an unbelievable achievement from those guys and it's an unbelievable achievement, what they've been able to do."

Craig Lowndes drives alongside Whincup and while he does not hold the five Championship record, is considered by many one of the greats of our sport.

Lowndes said his teammate was the 'driver of the decade' and believes there's still more to come from Whincup.

"It's been tremendous - it's no doubt he's a class act," Lowndes told v8supercars.com.au.

"I think every decade you have the drivers of the decade, and he's definitely this one. No doubt about that.

"He's very talented, he's still young - it's really up to him how long he wants to drive for, but he's very dedicated and very focused so who knows how many he can win?"

Lowndes has seen Whincup's rise first hand, having been his teammate since 2007 and says the 'secret' is just continually banking points and results.

"To win a championship, you have to have a consistent 12 months and he's now had six years of good consistency.

"He's had his ups and downs but he's managed to work through them and work them for him, and he's definitely a class act."

Johnson agreed Whincup's ability to pull himself out of trouble - particularly this year, where he had dropped as low as seventh in the points after New Zealand - was an important part of his success.

"Good teams do that," Johnson said.

"And there's another thing you need that's hard to find - and that's a little bit of luck."

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