Seven of Whincup's greatest rivalries

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 08/02/2021
  • By James Pavey

Jamie Whincup's final full-time campaign in 2021 will see a list of long-standing rivalries come to an end, some which have been active for over a decade.

Last week, it was confirmed Whincup will retire at the end of the upcoming season.

The seven-time champion will take to the track in 2021 with three fellow former champions, one of which has been his teammate for four years.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing veteran has won a record 122 races. In that time, he has shared podiums with several fellow champions and race winners.

In 2021, he will bring up 250 round starts and 550 race starts.

In that time, he has shared the track and battled with some of the most decorated drivers in Supercars history.

Ahead of Whincup's final full-time campaign, Supercars.com lists the seven-time champion's greatest rivals.

Mark Winterbottom

One of the defining rivalries of the modern era, Whincup and Winterbottom went hard at each other for a decade.

From Hamilton to Sandown, Perth to Adelaide, the two were regularly joined at the hip, sometimes too closely; they famously clashed on the final lap in New Zealand in 2013.

Later that year, though, was perhaps their most famous battle, with Winterbottom defeating Whincup in a tense Bathurst thriller.

Whincup has more than three times as many wins as Winterbottom, and seven title's to the Team 18 driver's one.

Regardless, that didn't stop Winterbottom from giving Whincup everything he had, forging a fierce rivalry for the ages.

Garth Tander

Tander defeated Whincup to win a closely-contested 2007 title fight, despite the eventual championship winning 15 races to Whincup's four.

Whincup returned serve in 2008 and 2009, with Tander third overall on both occasions.

They previously shared a Garry Rogers Motorsport entry for the 2003 enduros, and combined to finish 19th at Bathurst.

Two of the hardest racers out there, Whincup drew Whincup's ire following the controversial end to the 2016 Bathurst 1000. 

Tander slammed Whincup's "pretty desperate" move and subsequent redress that triggered a domino effect, sending Scott McLaughlin and Tander out of the race.

McLaughlin's re-entry was adjudged to be dangerous, while Whincup was hit with a 15-second penalty for infringement.

For Tander, who had won at Sandown a few weeks earlier, it was a victory chance which fell away in a matter of seconds.

James Courtney

The Courtney-Whincup rivalry peaked in 2010, with the former clinching a memorable title for Dick Johnson Racing.

Whincup was a standout, winning nine races. However, as Courtney began to win, Whincup and Triple Eight slipped up.

The title fight culminated in an extraordinary title decider in Sydney, with Courtney walking away with the crown.

Most recently, the duo fought to the end in Adelaide in 2016, which was also Courtney's most recent race win.

Craig Lowndes

Whincup and Lowndes were full-time teammates at Triple Eight between 2006 and 2018, and combined for three consecutive Bathurst wins between 2006 and 2008.

However, Lowndes pushed Whincup harder than most.

Whincup's titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013 saw Lowndes finish as runner-up. In their time as full-time teammates, Whincup won seven titles and 113 races, with Lowndes managing 49 wins. 

Will Davison

Whincup and Davison are good friends, but that doesn't mean they don't race each other to the ragged edge.

Davison, in his first year with the Holden Racing Team, pushed Whincup in 2009, but it was his time with Ford Performance Racing that he drew even closer.

The 2012 season proved to be one of Whincup's best, but Davison also came out his shell and challenged regularly.

Notably, Davison firmed for a Race 1 win in Adelaide, only to run out of fuel on the final lap and help a rampant Whincup clinch a remarkable win.

Later that year, Davison survived an almighty challenge in Perth, defending from Whincup to win on heavily-worn tyres.

Shane van Gisbergen

The two have been teammates at Triple Eight since 2016, and van Gisbergen immediately put one over his decorated stablemate.

The duo shared 16 wins in a fierce title fight, and it came to a head in New Zealand when Whincup tipped van Gisbergen in a spin. 

Two of the modern era's toughest racers, van Gisbergen and Whincup created one of the great highlight reels with a staggering battle on the Gold Coast in 2010.

A decade later, and despite sharing a garage, they still race hard and leave nothing on the table.

In their final season as teammates in 2021, it will be intriguing to see which drivers emerges on top.

Scott McLaughlin

The Whincup-McLaughlin rivalry's origins commenced in 2013, when the latter burst onto the scene with Garry Rogers Motorsport.

In 2014, McLaughlin famously defeated Whincup in Adelaide to mark Volvo's return with a bang.

McLaughlin's move to DJR Team Penske in 2017 brought the pair even closer, and they took the title fight down to the finale in New castle.

Whincup won the battle, but McLaughlin perhaps won the war, closing out three consecutive titles between 2018 and 2020.

Fighting for glory, they came to blows several times, most recently at Tailem Bend when Whincup tried to complete one ambitious overtake too many.

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