Jamie Whincup, V8 Supercars’ most successful flyaway driver, is understandably disappointed the Austin 400 has been omitted from the 2014 Championship calendar and is already ramped for a return in 2015.
The defending V8 Supercar Champion won three of four races in the category’s first venture to Texas last May in his Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore VF and has a superb overall record racing overseas.
A clash of dates with the X Games meant the second Austin 400 has been delayed until 2015 as announced earlier this week. V8 Supercars has committed to returning to the state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas in 2015, something Whincup looks forward to.
“I like the international events and I think they are a big highlight,” the 2013 Championship leader told v8supercars.com.au.
“I like to perform off-shore so I am disappointed Texas is not on the calendar for next year. But I am happy V8 Supercars are working hard to have it back on the calendar in 2015.”
Whincup has won 19 of the last 28 V8 Supercars races held outside Australia from 2008 onwards, including victories in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi – where he dominated with six wins from seven starts over the three years the Championship visited the Yas Marina F1 circuit – and New Zealand.
He has also taken 12 of 24 ARMOR ALL Pole Positions in that time.
Whincup doesn’t publicly attribute his international success to any one ingredient, nor make a big deal about it.
“A lot of the meat in that stat comes from Abu Dhabi where I have had a very good run,” he said. “Outside of that it doesn’t mean a huge amount.”
Whincup welcomed the commitment to twilight racing, which will see the Saturday race at the Sydney 500 Championship finale start at 5.10pm and be staged in television prime time on Channel 7. V8 Supercars is looking at a potential staging of around five twilight Championship races in 2014.
“Twilight racing I am all for,” he said. “It really suits the younger audience. I know a lot of my friends and people I know find it difficult to spend the full day at a race meeting because life is busy and there is plenty going on in the world.
“But being able to do what you have to do during the day and being able to rock up to the track in the afternoon, sit on the hill, have a few beers and watch the racing will be great.
“It is an awesome spectacle with the brakes glowing and everything. I am all for twilight racing. I think it’s great.”
Whincup was philosophical about the scrapping of the controversial 60/60 SuperSprint format and welcomed the new SuperSprint and SuperStreet categories.
“That’s fair enough, the 60/60 hasn’t worked I guess. But I am all for mixing it up and trying new things, we can’t just do the same things over and over again. They are just trying to work out what’s the best for each event.”