Whincup: Nothing untoward from team-mates in title scrap

Jamie Whincup will assist Shane van Gisbergen where possible in the title race

Jamie Whincup is adamant there will be nothing untoward from team-mates over the final two rounds to assist Shane van Gisbergen’s quest for this year’s Supercars Championship.

The seven-time champion has abandoned hopes of a title defence and instead will help team-mate van Gisbergen where he can in his head-to-head title battle with Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin.

With only 14 points separating championship leader McLaughlin and van Gisbergen heading into this weekend’s penultimate round at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint, team-mates from both Triple Eight and DJR Team Penske are expected to play a crucial role.

Van Gisbergen has the advantage of both Whincup and Craig Lowndes helping his cause while McLaughlin has a sole wingman in Fabian Coulthard.

While comfortable in his role of helping van Gisbergen, Whincup expects a clean fight between the teams.

“There is no pressure on us (myself, Lowndes, and Coulthard) and both of us have been around long enough,” Whincup told Speedcafe.com.

“We are not going to be doing anything untoward. None of that sort of thing is going to happen. 

“Our year is done, we can’t win the championship being as far back as what we are. 

“Of course it is all eggs in one basket at Triple Eight and that is helping the #97 to the big trophy.

“We are still going to go out there and race and I still want to win a race between now and the end of the year. 

“There is also the Teams’ Championship going on too. 

“We will do what we can to be as competitive as possible but at the same time if we can help car #97 out along the way then we certainly will.”

Taking himself out of the situation, Whincup is predicting an enthralling pressure-filled championship battle that will go down to the wire at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 later this month.

“For sure I think it is going to be a cracker battle between the two boys and nobody is going to give in,” he added.

“They both want it more than you can imagine. 

“How good is it going to be for everyone to be able to sit back and watch two of the best drivers in the country?

“Those two will be under massive pressure and, of course, the direct people on their car at the team.”

The penultimate round of the championship at Pukekohe Park Raceway begins on Friday with opening practice scheduled for 1115 local time.

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