The clock is ticking for Red Bull Holden Racing Team star Jamie Whincup. Picture: Tim Hunter
The clock is ticking for Red Bull Holden Racing Team star Jamie Whincup. Picture: Tim Hunter

Whincup coy on driving future

JAMIE Whincup is confident his Holden team can hit back against the championship-winning Mustang to win this year's Supercars title, but he is remaining coy on his own driving future beyond 2020.

Out of contract at the end of this year, the Red Bull Holden Racing Team star is conscious of pushing on past his "use by date" in the series where he has won more titles than any other driver.

The seven-time Supercars champion hopes to make a decision on his driving future early in the season, if not sooner.

Whincup, 37 next month, has already started to make plans for his post-racing future, having bought a 15 per cent share in the Triple Eight team he has raced for since 2006.

He was also voted on to the Supercars' commission last year.

While still enjoying his driving as much as ever, Whincup indicated he had a desire to race on beyond this year, but did not want to hold up a seat for a young talent coming through.

"I'd like to make a call before (Adelaide) or shortly thereafter. I'll be 100 per cent sure in the next two months," Whincup said.

"I'm still loving my racing more than ever … I have got a fair idea I would like to go on further than my current contract, but still undecided at this stage.

"There is no way that I would take up a seat at one of the best teams, holding that up for some young talent if I didn't think I was the best person for the job.

"I'll make the decision in the next couple of months if I feel I'm still the best person in 2021."

Whincup won the last of his seven titles in 2017 and finished third in last year's championship behind Ford rival Scott McLaughlin and Red Bull teammate Shane van Gisbergen.

Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin.
Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin.

Behind McLaughlin's record 18 race wins, Whincup and van Gisbergen were next best with five wins each.

After a strong finish to 2019, in which Whincup claimed wins on the Gold Coast, Sandown and Newcastle and won the Enduro Cup with Craig Lowndes, the Holden star is confident Triple Eight can mount a serious title challenge against the all-conquering Mustang.

"From what I can see right now, I am driving one of the best cars in the category for the one of the best teams," said Whincup, refreshed after a water-skiing break on the Murray River.

"So right now I can't see any reason why we shouldn't be title contenders.

"From New Zealand onwards I'm really happy I scored more points than anybody else and finished the year off strong. I want to make sure I keep that momentum and hit the ground running in 2020."

After a year of ongoing debate about parity and a series of in-season changes, Whincup backed Supercars' off-season aerodynamic testing to ensure a fair battle in 2020.

"I feel Supercars have done a fantastic job in making sure every team is given the best opportunity to get a result," Whincup said.

"I'm confident that both cars (Commodore and Mustang) are going to be as even as they possibly can be and it will come down to which team does the best job and I'm confident that Red Bull Racing can do as good a job as anyone else."

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News Corp Australia


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