Whincup: Up to 15 drivers can challenge for title

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 29/01/2021
  • By James Pavey

Jamie Whincup believes the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship will be wide open, with the seven-time champion predicting up to 15 drivers can take out the title.

With Scott McLaughlin and Penske departing, many believe Whincup's Red Ampol Racing Team, which also features 2016 champion Shane van Gisbergen, will be the ones to beat.

McLaughlin ruled the roost between 2018 and 2020, clinching the 2019 and 2020 titles with a round to spare.

However, Whincup expects the competition in 2021 to be tighter than ever.

"While there's so much new and so much fresh [in 2021], there's still one thing in common… go out there and try and beat your mates to the finish line," the 37-year-old said at his team's launch on Friday.

"The competition this year, I'm predicting it will be tighter again. It's going to be a massive battle for this year's championship.

"There could be 10 or 15 guys eligible for the win this year.

"Fingers crossed both Triple Eight Race Engineering cars are battling it out."

Supercars.com has predicted van Gisbergen and Tickford Racing's Cameron Waters will be the two which will take the title fight down to the wire.

However, Whincup will be motivated to improve on his failed 2020 challenge, while new Dick Johnson Racing pair Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale will have championship-winning machinery.

Chaz Mostert will also be keen to improve in his second year with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

There are 14 race winners on the grid, with Tickford's James Courtney and Team 18's Mark Winterbottom the other two former champions on the grid.

Brad Jones Racing's Nick Percat and Tickford's Jack Le Brocq also won races in 2020, while Kelly Grove Racing duo David Reynolds and Andre Heimgartner will be ones to watch.

While eyes will be on Triple Eight to back up its title favouritism, Whincup said "talk is cheap".

"I'm not going to come out and say what we've been doing and what we've been doing more than anybody else," the 122-time race winner said.

"All I'll say is that we've prepared well, we're in a good place ready for Round 1."

Whincup will commence his bid for an unprecedented eighth championship at next month's Repco Mt Panorama 500 across February 26-28. Tickets are on sale now.

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