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Lowndes deal no indication of Whincup’s future

Tom Howard

Thursday 12th September, 2019 - 9:00am

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Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup insists his Supercars future beyond next year is yet to be resolved despite Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Craig Lowndes recently signing a contract extension at Triple Eight.

The seven-time Supercars champion is contracted to the team, of which he is now a part owner, until the end of 2020 having agreed to a one-year extension this season.

Confirmation of Lowndes’ extended co-driver agreement, which ties him to the Holden squad through to 2021, had raised suggestions that Whincup may also be locked in for that period.

The successful Whincup/Lowndes partnership that yielded three consecutive Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 wins from 2006 to 2008 has been reborn this year following Lowndes’ retirement from full-time Supercars racing.

However, Whincup says his future going into 2021 is unknown at this point with the situation not expected to be addressed until the start of next year.

“No, there’s nothing in that. Craig’s done his deal, and I’m yet to do mine. I’m still signed up until the end of next year. There is nothing pressing from my end,” Whincup told Speedcafe.com.

“The start of next year I’ll start working out what I’ll do for 2021.”

The championship’s most successful driver has previously hinted that he would step back from racing if he felt past his ‘use by date’.

Whincup remains among the leading drivers in the category, sitting fifth in the standings having scored seven podiums including one of only three wins for Holden machinery this season, which has been dominated by Scott McLaughlin and the Ford Mustang.

With Supercars expected to roll out a significant rule shift in 2021, Whincup is excited to see what the championship has planned for the future.

Holden has already confirmed that it plans to stick with its V8 ZB Commodore for the next two seasons at least.

“I’m all for change. I’m all for moving forward and evolving and staying relevant,” added Whincup.

“I”m looking forward to seeing what transpires over the next six months until they put it into place exactly what we’re (Supercars) going to do in 2021.”

Switching focus to this weekend Whincup is hoping for an upturn in fortunes at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint after a difficult meeting at The Bend which yielded 11th and fifth from the two races.

He will, however, be boosted by an aero package adjustment that will be administered to all 14 ZB Commodores at Pukekohe Park Raceway.

“Well, after The Bend, unfortunately, anything can happen,” said Whincup.

“Before The Bend, I would be very confident going into NZ knowing we could be competitive, but we do have to make sure that we do make changes and do a better job.”

The Auckland SuperSprint begins with opening practice on Friday.

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