Whincup: No preferential treatment at Triple Eight

28 Jul
'We've never had a number one and a number two'
2 mins by James Pavey

Jamie Whincup says there is no preferential treatment at Red Bull Ampol Racing following a team orders “breakdown in communication” in Townsville.

Shane van Gisbergen was asked to hand fourth position back to Broc Feeney late in Race 17 in Townsville earlier this month.

Van Gisbergen passed Feeney on track, but was later told he would hand the place back if he couldn’t overhaul Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner ahead.

The reigning champion claimed he passed Feeney on merit after the latter had worn out his rear tyres.

Van Gisbergen slowed before the line, handing fourth back to Feeney, who won the round on points.

Later, Team Manager Mark Dutton said there was a “breakdown in communication” — a point reiterated by Whincup in Friday’s press conference in Sydney.

Whincup, however, shot down if Triple Eight would give Feeney “preferential treatment” amid rumours van Gisbergen could depart for NASCAR.

“There was no preferential treatment that went on at Townsville in any way,” Whincup said.

"No, no, no — that certainly didn’t happen.

“It was a situation where, yeah, we could have done a better job with communicating — but no one was hard done by in any way.


“We’ve never had a number one and a number two [driver].

"We’ve had equal opportunity for both drivers, which means both sets of engineers, both sets of mechanics, and that will continue forever.”

Van Gisbergen won on his NASCAR Cup Series debut in Chicago earlier this month, and will make a second start at Indianapolis next month.

In the same press conference, Whincup said the team hasn’t set a hard deadline on a van Gisbergen decision, but expects one soon.

"I think it’s a five at the moment,” Whincup replied when asked to rate van Gisbergen’s chances of racing in Supercars next year.

"There’s not much for me to do right now until he says, ‘Hey, I really want to go to US.’

“But he hasn’t made that call yet. I think he’ll make that call shortly.

“Then once he makes that call – hopefully he stays for all of our sakes – but if he decides to move on, then I’ll start the process of working out who’s going to jump in the car.”

Supercars will hit the track in Sydney for Practice 1 on Saturday at 12:15pm local tine/AEST.

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