Jamie Whincup won’t give up on a record seventh Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, though he knows it’s a tall ask to beat firing teammate Shane van Gisbergen from here.
The quick Kiwi has a 148-point lead over Whincup with 600 points remaining this season, and has recently had a range of big names – from racing legend Jim Richards, to teammate and great Craig Lowndes – lend support to the 27-year old racer.
Whincup wants to garner the best result for his team but won’t say die, knowing anything is possible at the unpredictable Pukekohe and Sydney Olympic Park circuits yet to be run and won.
“I just feel good we’re in this position,” Whincup said when asked about the internal rival between the teammates.
“It’s a great position to be in where both cars are 1-2 in the championship and we can battle it out.
“May the best man win.”
Aucklander van Gisbergen says his approach to racing isn’t changing with his maiden title in sight.
“There’s not much to say for me, just keeping the same approach as always,” he said.
“All three of us are working well together and trying to keep the cars fast, so for me it’s like every other week.
“The championship’s there but my approach is the same – four good races with no mistakes and I’ll be happy.”
Winning the Pirtek Enduro Cup with Alex Premat before returning home to race in New Zealand, van Gisbergen has had a fair share of the spotlight in recent weeks.
“It’s cool, it’s been a pretty intense week with the media and that, I was pretty excited to get into the car today and it’s been good.
“I’m feeling quite good in the car, the car’s got a nice setup, one of the best I’ve driven around here, the track seems to be pretty grippy for everyone, I enjoyed it.”
Van Gisbergen shut down suggestions he’d be at an advantage if rain comes this weekend, regarded a wet weather specialist though he despites racing in the rain.
“I don’t know about a free kick – I hope it’s dry.
“Tomorrow’s meant to be ok and Sunday’s dicey. This track’s not very good in the wet, there’s different surfaces and it’s hard to feel where the grip is. But we were ok in the wet this morning I think.”