‘Plenty of emotions’ as end nears for Whincup
Thursday 4th February, 2021 - 6:00am
Retiring champion Jamie Whincup admits emotions are high as he prepares for what is now his final full Supercars season.
The 37-year-old announced yesterday he will hang up the helmet – at least as a primary driver – at season’s end and move into the managing director and team principal role currently held by Roland Dane, who simultaneously confirmed his own plans to step back.
Just weeks out from the 2021 opening round, the Repco Mount Panorama 500, Whincup opened up on what it’s like to officially have an end date in sight for his career.
“There’s plenty of emotions. There’s obviously sadness, but there’s obviously excitement of what the future holds,” said Whincup.
“There’s a little bit of relief as well to have finally announced the plan so we can now just focus on executing.
“I love driving, I’m really looking forward to this year.
“I’m also looking forward to using my spare time working with RD [Dane], Tony [Quinn, new Triple Eight major shareholder], and the rest of the management team on learning this Triple Eight business, further understanding Supercars and motorsport and even the automotive industry as a general in my spare time in 2021.
“And then looking forward to jumping in the hot seat in 2022.”
Before that next chapter begins, Whincup has one last chance to add a record eighth Supercars crown to his collection.
Three-time champion Scott McLaughlin’s off-season switch to IndyCar has left the title race wide open.
“I would have pulled the pin at the end of last year if I didn’t think I could make it number eight,” added Whincup.
“So I’m not there to make up the numbers, I’m there to get results and absolutely number eight is achievable.”
No other driver in ATCC/Supercars history has won more than five championships.