Whincup crosses the line for the race win and becomes the first ever six-time V8 Supercar champion.
Jamie Whincup has done the impossible by securing an historic sixth V8 Supercar championship before the season is even over. With a monumental win for race 34 at Phillip Island, Whincup has etched his name into the history books at the age of only 31.
Starting from pole position, Whincup initially lost the lead to his Ford Performance Racing (FPR) rival, Mark Winterbottom, at the first corner. Whincup, however, only had to wait.
Excellent start but…
What started off as a strong run for the FPR driver soon began to turn ugly. Getting the jump on the pole sitter, ‘Frosty’ stole the lead away at ‘Doohan Corner’ but couldn’t quite get the power down to extend his lead.
With Whincup on his back bumper, Winterbottom went wide going through ‘Doohan’ on Lap 4. Whincup made the overtake on Winterbottom, put the hammer down and began to extend his lead as ‘Frosty’ began to fall backwards.
A few laps later, Craig Lowndes, who started in third, got past ‘Frosty’ as well to make it a Red Bull 1-2 pursuit.
Holden Racing Team (HRT) driver, Garth Tander, had a brief off-road adventure which allowed Todd Kelly to slip past him. This was short-lived, however, as Tander made up the ground and regained his former position of fourth.
Contact between Lee Holdsworth and Tim Slade proved to be costly. Slade, driver of the #47 Supercheap Auto Commodore, appeared to have steering arm damage after the incident but was able to get his car back to pit-road. Slade would eventually rejoin the race albeit five laps down.
The Red Bulls
The pursuit was on for Lowndes as he drove to catch his Red Bull teammate. After getting past Winterbottom, Lowndes turned it up to 11 in an effort to get the much needed race win.
Whincup, on the other hand, was not budging and continued to extend his lead while setting the fastest lap of the race. By the end of the race, Whincup had laid down an impressive 3.5 second lead over his teammate and set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:32.949 while also securing the coveted sixth title.
Not a bad day at the office if you ask Whincup.
Winterbottom, although unable to keep up with the Red Bull Commodores, maintained third position and completed the final step on the podium.
Others of note
Garth Tander, who was on par to catch Winterbottom if a few more laps remained, secured fourth position while Todd Kelly finished in a distant fifth.
Scott McLaughlin, Michael Caruso, Rick Kelly, Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat completed the top-ten.
A champion’s cake
One final qualifying round at Phillip Island remains for tomorrow followed by the final race before the finale at Sydney. But with Whincup securing the title today, everything now is just icing on the cake for the six-time champion.