The race we don't talk about

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 30/09/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke and Samantha McLaughlin

Jamie Whincup has revealed he and Red Bull team boss Roland Dane still cannot discuss the end to last year's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The intense finish, which will go down as one of history's best, saw Holden's Whincup lead Ford's Chaz Mostert while his team called over the radio to conserve fuel.

The two had emerged after starting 24th and 26th on the grid, Whincup crashing in qualifying and Mostert excluded after passing under a red flag in the Friday session.

It was a rollercoaster day for both, with Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell dodging a tailshaft issue Whincup thought would end their day early, and a drive-through penalty after a nudge on Todd Kelly.

The #1 entry - which finished in the top two at the Great Race from 2012 to 14 - powered through to cough on the final lap and allow hungry young gun Mostert through at Forrests Elbow for his first Bathurst win.

Whincup slipped to fifth and that afternoon a furious Dane said he had cost the team the year's most important race.

"To be honest me and my boss still can't talk about it," Whincup told in the lead up to this year's 1000.

"For him it was a bad day, for me it was one of the best days I've had in motorsport, honestly.

"I really realised that day it's not about the result, it's about the effort. And to start from last, come back through the field and be leading the race - it involved an incident halfway through the day [where we went] back to a lap and a half down.

"To come back through and almost steal the race, that was one of the best efforts I've seen from my team. It's the best event I've ever been involved in.

"We gave it everything and unfortunately it wasn't quite good enough - we were half a lap short."

Whincup has four Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 wins to his name, having last won in 2012 with co-driver and good friend Dumbrell.

The six-time champ sits an uncharacteristic eighth in the points standings after a tough season so far. While he regards the Championship the ultimate prize in V8 Supercars, he acknowledged the significance of a Bathurst win and believes Red Bull will - as always - be well in contention at Mount Panorama on Sunday October 11.

"It's obviously the biggest event of the year - most drivers, teams, team owners and corporate partners regard Bathurst as the biggest prize of the year, even over the Championship," Whincup said.

"For me it's still the Championship, that's still the biggest prize of the year, but it's very closely followed by Bathurst.

"So we all go up there absolutely wanting the best result.

"We feel like we prepared well, we feel like we're as good a chance as anyone ... so fingers crossed."

Despite the Peter Brock Trophy sitting in rival team Prodrive's cabinet for the past two years, Whincup was proud of his and teammate Craig Lowndes' recent efforts at Mount Panorama.

"We're proud that we've represented our team really well the last three years and we've been in contention the last three years," he said.

"We've got a win, a second and we got an almost, we ran out of fuel and ran fifth, so all in all we're happy, we've been happy to have been there the last few years but obviously it's a huge deal to stand on the top step."

This year's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 gets underway next week, kicking off on Thursday October 8 with the 1000km classic on Sunday October 11.

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