No swansong Bathurst shootout for Whincup

Jamie Whincup. Picture: Ross Gibb

Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Jamie Whincup will watch tomorrow’s Top 10 Shootout from the sidelines after failing to make the cut during Qualifying for the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000.

The #88 Holden ZB Commodore will start Sunday’s race from 11th in what will be Whincup’s last as a full-timer in the Repco Supercars Championship.

Whincup improved to seventh on his final flying lap but would be pipped first by Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Racing Team), then Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries Racing), and Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Racing).

That dropped Whincup to 10th before Tim Slade in the #3 CoolDrive Racing Mustang surged from 12th to fourth to rapturous applause from the Blanchard Racing Team garage.

“Not ideal, not ideal at all,” said Whincup.

“Plenty of excuses. We didn’t get the green runs in in practice before. They’re a good opportunity to get up to speed, go away, look at the data, and then work away from there.

“That ultimately probably hurt us. The car was probably good enough, but once you start picking up that pace, keep getting right into the [two-minute] fours then the track almost is completely different.

“No, disappointed with that. What can you do? Put your head down and see if we can make it up in the race.”

Whincup and co-driver Craig Lowndes will have two more practice sessions on Saturday before the big dance on Sunday.

Despite missing the shootout, Whincup said it won’t change their approach to the 161-lapper.

“We’ll still continue to do what we do,” said Whincup.

“I think we’ve got a quick race car. We’ll see what Sunday throws at us.”

On the other side of the garage, the sister #888 of Shane van Gisbergen was seventh fastest and 0.3s off provisional pole position getter Will Brown of Erebus Motorsport.

As for the team’s Supercheap Auto wildcard, Broc Feeney qualified 15th.

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