Jamie Whincup will not give up on chasing a record seventh Supercars Championship, declaring he will fight teammate Shane van Gisbergen right to the final lap at next month’s Coates Hire Sydney 500.
The pair traded wins yesterday at Pukekohe, meaning the points gap remains at 148 after two 100km races, worth 75 points each for the win.
The focus has been on 27-year old Kiwi van Gisbergen, racing at home this weekend and in the box seat to take a maiden title – but Whincup won’t lower his guard until he sees his teammate holding the trophy.
When asked if there’s any stage he would give up on chasing the title, Whincup said simply:
“We’ll go right through to the last lap on Sunday at Homebush,” Whincup said.
“It’s definitely game on for both of us. As I always say, people pay good money to come to the track and watch a good old classic battle of two fast cars going at it hard, so we’ll make sure we keep that up right until the end.”
The other side of the garage isn’t resting on its laurels either, knowing full well there could be a points swing. There’s now 450 remaining, with two 75-point races tomorrow and 150 per 250km race at Homebush.
“Speaking to Shippy [#97 engineer Grant McPherson] and my crew, we decided the gap’s not big enough to conserve,” Van Gisbergen said.
“We treat it as a standalone event, try and get the JR Trophy – that would be awesome.
“We’re not going to do anything stupid, try and score as many points as possible and have some fun.”
Craig Lowndes has had a tough run this weekend, allowing Scott McLaughlin to sneak up to 22 points behind the TeamVortex Commodore, which sits in third.
The Volvo young gun expressed his excitement at the prospect of bettering his best finish of fifth in 2014, in his final season with Garry Rogers Motorsport before next year’s DJR Team Penske switch.
He’s hoping to rain on the Triple Eight parade and split the team’s three drivers after their dominance this season.
“It matters, you need to try and get the best you can out of the car – I’m certainly trying my best. The best I’ve ever finished is fifth. I’d love to try and get third, especially to try and beat Lowndesy and split these guys up, the three of them.
“They’ve done a fantastic job, the team, but … GRM have worked hard all year and probably had our most consistent run to date so it’d be a pretty cool thing.”