Jamie Whincup has declared intentions to call an early end to his Supercars career in order to race overseas.
The 33-year-old already holds a swag of Supercars records following a highly successful decade with Triple Eight that sees him stand alone as a six-time champion.
Whincup made the perfect start to his quest for a fifth Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 crown today, combining with co-driver and friend Paul Dumbrell to top all three practice sessions.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s Practice 3 report.
Having concentrated on Supercars since moving into the category in 2003, Whincup will next February make his GT3 debut at the Bathurst 12 Hour.
Whincup will team with Craig Lowndes for the race in a Triple Eight-assisted Maranello Motorsport Ferrari.
Asked at Bathurst whether he aspires to race overseas, Whincup affirmed that he has no intentions of following team-mate Craig Lowndes by racing Supercars into his 40s.
Whincup, who recently opened his own coffee shop/car wash business on the Gold Coast, is currently contracted to Triple Eight until the end of the 2018 season.
“I won’t race a V8 Supercar forever, I won’t be 40 years old racing full-time,” he said.
“I’d like to end a little bit earlier and go and experience all the tracks and other categories all over the world.
“I look forward to that, but certainly not in the next couple of years.”
Whincup was meanwhile pleased with his day’s work at Mount Panorama, which had begun with a spin into the gravel at Murray’s Corner.
He ended Practice 3 0.07s clear of DJR Team Penske’s Fabian Coulthard with a pace-setting time of 2:05.29s.
“We rolled out of the truck well, the car was well balanced and we evolved it as the day went on,” he said.
“I put on the first of our seven sets of race tyres at the end of Practice 3 just to get a gauge on where we’re at.
“We’ll do a few little tweaks here and there, but all in all I’m very happy at this early stage.”
Whincup currently holds the Supercars practice lap record at Bathurst with a 2:04.91s set in Saturday’s Practice 5 last year.
“It all comes down to the conditions and what the track does overnight,” he said when asked how fast he can go tomorrow.
“If it cools down it’ll certainly be faster but it’s predicted to get warmer as the weekend goes on.
“But you don’t drive to a number, you just drive to be quicker than everyone else.”