Why Whincup hasn't watched 2017 title decider

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/01/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

Jamie Whincup is yet to watch the dramatic final race of the 2017 Supercars season in Newcastle, where he claimed a record-extending seventh title.

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver headed to the maiden Coates Hire Newcastle 500 leading Scott McLaughlin by 30 points, but became the rank outsider after Saturday’s race.

McLaughlin won and then only had to finish 11th on Sunday, as Whincup tagged Michael Caruso and then the wall on the opening lap, finishing 21st and 13 laps down.

Whincup was victorious on Sunday, when McLaughlin led early but was issued three penalties including one while 11th on the last lap that dropped him to 18th.

Asked if he had re-watched the deciding race, Whincup told Supercars.com: “I haven’t yet, I haven’t had time to do that.

“I’ve disappeared from motorsport for a full month, haven’t read anything, haven’t seen anything, I don’t know anything.

“I just pretty much tried to recharge and refresh the brain.

“I would’ve loved to have done more and caught up with more people, but at the end of the day it’s actually a battle not to go insane, to be honest, and not just be run into the ground.

“I escaped for a month, disappeared, and it was the best thing I could do.”

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Speaking at the factory Holden team’s launch of its 2018 livery and new ZB Commodore last week, Whincup said there was “no doubt” he would watch it, though.

“Now I’m back into race mode, today we’ve kicked off with the launch so we’re hard back into it now,” he said.

“We’ll review most races of last year and see where we can go better and see what we can improve.”

The 34-year-old vowed to treat the title like it would be his last, even if it ultimately took weeks to sink in.

“I didn’t do much over summer, which is exactly what I needed and planned,” he said.

“No doubt it sunk in that ‘hey, we achieved good things last year, we achieved something that no-one else has’, which is an amazing feeling.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve done. But right now, we forget that, focus on 2018.

“We’ve got a heap of new challenges, which is a fantastic thing about being part of this team.”

Earlier last week, Whincup returned to Newcastle for a sponsor appearance, turning a lap and telling the Newcastle Herald it was “quite weird” and that “so many memories came back”.

Whincup has agreed to extend his contract with Triple Eight to the end of the 2019 season, which could be his last in Supercars.

He starts his 2018 racing with next weekend's Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in a factory-backed Mercedes AMG GT3,  testing it for the first time on Monday.

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