Sport

Unsure Whincup stays on track

STRONG SUPPORT: Reigning V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup signs memorabilia for fans at yesterday’s special appearance at Ipswich Coates Hire at Churchill. It’s the fourth year Coates Hire have been naming-rights sponsor for this weekend’s event at Queensland Raceway.
STRONG SUPPORT: Reigning V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup signs memorabilia for fans at yesterday’s special appearance at Ipswich Coates Hire at Churchill. It’s the fourth year Coates Hire have been naming-rights sponsor for this weekend’s event at Queensland Raceway. Rob Williams

FIVE-time V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup plans to stick to what has served him best despite facing some uncertainty in this weekend's Coates Hire Ipswich 400 at Queensland Raceway.

Whincup said racing on soft tyres at the Ipswich circuit provided additional challenges.

"We've come off two really successful rounds for us," Whincup said.

"But I've got to remind everyone that was both on the hard tyre.

"It's like two different games going on. The hard tyre race and the soft tyre race."

Whincup said the Red Bull Australia team wasn't as successful in earlier rounds on the soft tyre.

"This weekend is all soft tyre so we can't read much into the last two rounds," he said.

"We just did a test day last week (at Queensland Raceway) and we did a lot of soft tyre running.

"We got a lot of information but we're not sure if we got a big gain.

"Time will tell this weekend whether we improved the car or we're still a little bit off the pace on the soft tyre."

The Gold Coast-based driver was also cautious about previous experiences at Queensland Raceway.

"It has had its disadvantages as well in the past where you set the car up for the conditions on a test day then they completely change and you're too scared to go away from what you know," he said.

"We're really just focusing on this weekend.

"Forgetting that it's our test track and just working on what we do at any other race meeting where we seem to go very well."

Whincup, 31, gave a valuable insight into why he's the reigning champion.

"In the busy time, there's no relaxing whatsover," he said, having formed a successful partnership with another popular V8 driver Craig Lowndes.

"I've had the biggest two weeks of my life, testing and heading into this week. It's been really intense."

Whincup starts this weekend's round second overall in the championship on 1538 points behind leader Mark Winterbottom on 1634.

Fabian Coulthard is third with 1361 points and Whincup's Red Bull teammate Lowndes is hovering in sixth place on 1352 points.

Lowndes was due to arrive in Queensland last night. He's been holidaying in Europe and finished third in his class at last weekend's Spa-Francorchamps 24 hour race.

"I came into this team pretty raw and Lowndesy helped me out with open arms,'' Whincup said.

"I feel I've been able to give a little bit back to the partnership in the last four or five years.

"It's been a real good healthy rivalry for eight years now so hopefully that can continue."

Away from the track, Whincup fulfils his need for speed in a relaxing way.

He enjoys getting out on the Gold Coast Broadwater on his jetski "to recharge the batteries and go again''.

However, for the next few days, his focus is purely on racing for the team and his fans.

"We do enjoy it,'' he said. "It's certainly all part of our sport.

"There's only two drivers on the frontline per team, rather than a footy team, that can mix it up with 30 plus guys.

"Lowndesy and I travel all over the country trying to promote the sport and look after our sponsors."

Number one driver: Jamie Whincup

  • Team: Triple Eight Race Engineering (car number one).
  • Age: 31. Lives: Gold Coast. Nickname: Whinners, J-Dub (comes from his initials JW).
  • Major successes: Winning V8 Supercars championship in 2008, 2009, and from 2011-13. Won Bathurst 1000 in 2006-08 with Craig Lowndes and in 2012 with Paul Dumbrell.
  • Most satisfying part of motorsport: "Achieving things with the team.''
  • Toughest part of motorsport: "I'm watched every minute of my job.''
  • On driving the number one car: "You work so hard to earn the right to be able to represent the number one. Then when you get the number one, you work really hard to represent that number the way it should be, at the highest possible quality.''

Topics:  coates hire ipswich 400, jamie whincup, v8 supercars




Plan for Ipswich that will save you hours every day

BUS FOCUS: City Infrastructure boss Cr Cheryl Bromage is working to get bus timetables in sync with rail services. She is pictured with Brassall students William Kravchenko, Samuel Lovey, Khan Towler, Shaeisha Towler, Imani Danielson and Mayor Paul Pisasale at the launch of iGo, council’s transport plan.

Councillor wants plan for smarter bus and train timetables

Council: "Give us an answer now"

GREYHOUNDS: Runners in race eight at Thabeban Park.Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Logan in limbo over greyhound track proposal

Why you should register as an organ donor today

NEW LIFE: Chris Laurie has been able to live a long and happy life after receiving a heart transplant.

“To give someone an extra chance at life is a wonderful thing."

Latest deals and offers

Three reasons your mind will be blown this week

Alan Dale and Jacki Weaver in a scene from the TV series Secret City.

THREE shows on Foxtel to make your mind boggle.

Elena wins MasterChef: “I’m ecstatic and eager to celebrate"

MasterChef Australia 2016 winner Elena Duggan, from Noosa.

NOOSA chefs survive marathon grand final dish by Heston Blumenthal.

Shannen Doherty shaves hair during cancer battle

Shannen Doherty has completely shaved off her hair

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley