Whincup to celebrate 50 V8 Supercar rounds at the track where it all started In 2002, an emerging Formula Ford prospect by the name of Jamie Whincup experienced his first taste of V8 Supercar racing, making his debut at the Queensland...
Whincup to celebrate 50 V8 Supercar rounds at the track where it all started
In 2002, an emerging Formula Ford prospect by the name of Jamie Whincup experienced his first taste of V8 Supercar racing, making his debut at the Queensland 500.
In just four seasons of competition, the then touring car debutant has graduated to superstar status, a feared and respected competitor on track and one of the Blue Oval's leading championship contenders.
Add in victories at the grueling Bathurst 1000 and Clipsal 500 events and the foundations are set for the making of one of the nation's greats.
At next weekend's Queensland Raceway round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, Whincup will take to the tarmac for his 50th touring car round start, a major milestone in any driver's eyes.
The TeamVodafone pilot took a moment to reflect back on his first competitive outing in the series, and was quietly confident of his chances at the team's home circuit.
"Well I guess I'm not the rookie anymore!" said Whincup. "My first round, back in 2002 at Queensland Raceway was a disastrous one, certainly a very tough introduction to the series."
"To reach the half-century mark is a solid achievement, it's been an amazing ride to get to where I am now and I am really focused on consistently improving each time we go out there," he said.
"I have learnt a lot from those around me, teammates, team members, on-track rivals, the list is endless. It's great to be a part of such a successful operation at Triple Eight, the team is doing all it can to keep me in the championship picture and we are only going to get stronger."
"We've got great car speed and yesterday's test only confirmed that the cars are amongst the quickest out there."
"If you can do well at Queensland Raceway you can do well anywhere. We are now matching the pace of HRT and HSVDT, hopefully with more to come," concluded Whincup.
Jamie is one of only two Ford drivers to win a round of the championship in 2007, with teammate Craig Lowndes joining him in the winner's circle at Hidden Valley last month.
At their home race, the duo will make for a formidable presence on-track, and the team is confident that both drivers will be in a position to challenge for race wins as the weekend gets underway.
The Queensland round consists of 3 x 120km races, the first on Saturday and second and third on Sunday.