V8 Supercars Championship Series leader says that his TeamVodafone Holden Commodore VE is the best Supercar he’s ever driven.
After claiming his fifth win of the season yesterday in Race 7 of the series at the ITM Hamilton 400 in New Zealand – his 38th career win – Whincup praised his #1 Triple Eight-built machine.
“The car I’ve been driving this year is the best that I’ve felt. I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
It seems switching from Ford chassis to Holdens hasn’t dented the pace of the dominant Triple Eight/Whincup combination and he admits that there is a marked difference between the two makes.
“Both cars feel completely different,” he said.
“We made some improvements over the break to our car, but having driven these cars for five years, I know what a good car feels like. It doesn’t matter if it’s a go kart or a Formula Ford or a V8 – I cant say an F1 car, I’ve only done four laps! – but a good car is a good car.
“Clearly the car is good, of course. It’s got to be good and I feel like I’m driving it reasonably well.”
Whincup reset the lap record in his run to victory yesterday and says his Commodore is much better than the Falcon he took to two wins at Hamilton last year.
“I think the cars have got better last year,” he said.
“My car is better than the one I drove last year. It was a very, very good victory and it was good champagne as well, which is nice.”
Whincup should know a good car from a not-so-good one. He is now in his eighth full-time year of V8 Supercars racing having been promoted to the big leagues by Garry Rogers Motorsport the year after he won the 2002 Australian Formula Ford title. He endured a difficult start to his career at GRM and sat out the 2004 season before being signed up by Tasman Motorsport (2005) and snatched by Triple Eight (2006).
Two championships later, 38 career wins and a recent test drive in a McLaren Formula One car at Albert Park – life couldn’t be better for the Gold Coast resident.