Whincup unfazed by pressure to perform
Jamie Whincup says he isn’t feeling any more pressure than usual despite facing his toughest championship challenge in recent memory.
The six-time V8 Supercars champion heads into this weekend’s Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint with his title hopes starting to fade after falling 391 points adrift of championship leader Mark Winterbottom.
Prodrive Racing’s Winterbottom has claimed four victories in the last three events, while Whincup has struggled for form scoring just one top five finish in the last nine races.
Without a podium since Barbagallo Raceway in May, Whincup told Speedcafe.com that the pressure for results has not increased despite failing to meet the high standards he has set in recent years.
“There is no more pressure than usual and there is no more pressure than what we put on ourselves,” said Whincup, who will be engineered by Mark Dutton for the remainder of the season following a pre-Townsville shake-up.
“We have got high expectations and we haven’t been able to deliver up to those.
“They are all crucial (races) now and I just want to keep making sure we are moving in the right direction, which we started in Townsville.
“I feel we made a bit of a turn there and we need to keep that momentum going and if we can do that I’ll be happy and a top five result would be fantastic.
“We have prepared well and we will do what we can. There has been plenty of work on the set up behind the scenes and we are not sure how that is going to go, but fingers crossed we make a gain.”
In contrast to Whincup’s struggles, Prodrive has emerged as the championship’s team to beat with the reigning champion admitting Triple Eight is being forced to dig deep to close the gap.
“It is probably four tenths advantage that Prodrive have,” Whincup added.
“It is a lot we are going to have to dig deep. It is in us but finding it is the hard bit.
“We won’t do anything different than what we have done in the last 10 years at Red Bull Racing, we will dig deep and make sure there is no stone left unturned.
“I’m not sure if that is going to be good enough or not but we will do our thing and see where we go.”