In anticipation of his 100th Supercars Championship race win, Jamie Whincup ranked his top 10 best ever victories for supercars.com.
“It’s very hard to rate all of these and put them in an order, but I’ve done the very best I could,” the Red Bull racer said.
After clocking up 99 in Townsville, Whincup cracked the ton yesterday in great form, leading home Triple Eight teammate Craig Lowndes.
Here are the victories he believes are his best after being the form man of the last decade in Supercars.
Number 10 – Abu Dhabi 2010
Whincup wins two from two at season opener, earning maximum points to lead Mark Winterbottom in the championship. It was Triple Eight’s first race event running Holden Commodores.
“This was the big controversial Ford to Holden switch which was just unknown in that era. That was the big news, that Triple Eight decided to do the big switch.
“We went to Abu Dhabi – obviously a massive event for the category to race in the Middle East.
“It was our first time at Abu Dhabi on the big stage, first time in a Holden – good stuff.”
Number 9 – Oran Park 2008
Saturday’s race win clinches Whincup’s very first Supercars title at the last Supercars event ever held at Sydney circuit. It was also Mark Skaife’s final meeting as a full-time driver.
“My first Championship win – I came very close in 2007 with Garth [Tander].
“I wrote the car off at Hamilton in 2008 and pretty much dropped a round. We battled our way back through all year, so it was an unbelievable feeling to cross the line in that first race on Saturday.
“To win my first championship was pretty incredible stuff.”
Number 8 – Gold Coast 2010
Paired with Steve Owen, Whincup wins by 0.205sec over a young van Gisbergen. Each team hosted one international co-driver to contest the event and TeamVodafone ran a ‘speedo suit’ where winners are awarded surfboards.
“That epic battle with my now new teammate Shane van Gisbergen.
“I worked pretty hard and the Gold Coast is a pretty special event for me because it’s my home event. I wanted that more than anyone else and did what I felt like I needed to in a car that was running out of rear tyres at the end of the race.
“To win a race wearing budgie smugglers – that went down in the memory bank for me!”
Number 7 – Austin 2013
Whincup won three of the four sprints at the Circuit of the Americas, Supercars’ first venture to the USA.
“Austin was a big stage for us, the first time racing in the US. It was obviously a massive event, unbelievable track – to win the first race in Austin, that’s a big achievement in my books.”
Number 6 – Pukekohe, 2015
Bouncing back from a hard season, Whincup wins two of three races in New Zealand with his Sunday victory securing the prestigious Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.
“As we know JR was a good mate of mine, a teammate, obviously one of the biggest losses the category has faced. So to win the Sunday race and have my name on the Jason Richards trophy is very special. Knowing it’s going to be there forever is a huge deal.”
Number 5 – Clipsal 2006
Whincup’s first ever race win came during his first event with Triple Eight, the then 23-year old beating Todd and Rick Kelly in Sunday’s race.
“This was my first V8 Supercars win. I’d just joined Triple Eight – I’d worked very, very hard to get in the V8 Supercars category and then I lost my drive in ‘04. It was very hard to get back in 2005; I worked extremely hard to join a team that could win races. So to run that rollercoaster and finally get to a team that could win races and then win on debut on the Sunday – win one of the biggest events of the year – that’s right up there at number five.
“There was a bent rim. I passed Dean Canto at turn four, we clipped, bent the rim, the rim was so badly damaged the tyre should’ve gone down – we should’ve not finished that race. But somehow the tyre stayed up and we’ve got that rim at home in my living room.
“Roland [Dane] and Derek Warwick and the owners of Triple Eight back then presented me with the rim, which is one of my prized possessions.”
Number 4 – Bathurst 2006
Whincup’s first Bathurst 1000 win, the first after legend Peter Brock’s death.
“It’s hard to put these in order – but Bathurst 2006, a couple of months after the great Peter Brock passed away.
“It was an emotional day – probably more so for my teammate Lowndesy. There was big debate whether he was going to start the car or I was going to start the car; he was an emotional wreck just before the race. He elected to start the car.
“I felt like I certainly played a role that day, got the car to the lead and handed over to Craig to do his thing – he was unbelievable in that last stint to come home.
“It was an emotional day for everyone involved and it was my first Bathurst win as well so that made it extra special. A very special car that as well, which is in the museum at Mount Panorama … anyone who has been at triple eight more than ten years will know chassis 10 is one of the most special cars that we have.”
Number 3 – Bathurst 2012
The 50th anniversary of Bathurst, when Whincup won with good mate Paul Dumbrell in a nail-biting finish over David Reynolds by 0.3129sec – the second closest real finish (not form finish).
“It was the 50th anniversary, coming on to the end of the Vodafone era that was quite significant for all of us. It was coming towards the end of that generation of car, which was what V8 Supercars was all about – Ford vs Holden.
“It was the first time I’d actually crossed the line at Bathurst … in a crazy fuel race with David Reynolds.
“One, because it’s Bathurst; two, because of the actual race itself, the battle with Davey Reynolds; and three I personally crossed the line. Which isn’t a huge factor, I still felt all those wins before were genuine wins, but it’s the icing on top of the cake, crossing the line.”
Number two – Sandown 2013
In a brand new Supercar, Whincup and Dumbrell came back from a drive through penalty to smoke the field, beating teammates Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff by a whopping eight seconds.
“One of the great stories of my time in V8 Supercars and at Triple Eight.
“We speculated there were issues with the car, it was all hands on deck for two weeks before the event, burned the midnight oil.
“Roland committed to a new car, which is a massive cost and massive deal … and then for the guys and girls to just do a stupid stint to get the car ready.
“We got a drive-through penalty in the middle of the day, and then came back and won the race.
“As I said, that’s been one of the greatest stories I’ve ever been involved in, that’s why it’s number two and only beaten by…”
Number one – Clipsal 2012
An emotional victory for Whincup in a hard time, after finishing second to Davison on Saturday he took the top spot the following afternoon in a car he now owns.
“I’m not a spiritual person – my father passed away the week before, my good mate Will Davison is leading the race, I pass him with half a lap to go and take one of the biggest wins of the year.