Whincup in disbelief after Bathurst great escapes
Sunday 9th October, 2022 - 9:35pm
Jamie Whincup could not believe that he got through two major incidents in the opening six laps of the Repco Bathurst 1000 unscathed.
Whincup started the race in Broc Feeney’s #88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore from 14th position and was in the thick of the action almost immediately.
The race was back to green flag running for less than a lap when Zane Goddard ran off at The Chase and caused even more mayhem, taking out Dale Wood as he slithered back onto the track and creating an obstacle for Matt Campbell to shunt into.
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Whincup was among those who had to thread his way between the beaten-up Mustangs which Goddard and Campbell had been driving as he exited The Chase complex, emerging 19th.
Between he and Feeney, they would run as high as third on merit, as late as Lap 111, before the latter took the chequered flag in fifth position.
It means all three Triple Eight Race Engineering entries were classified top 10, with Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander victorious and Craig Lowndes/Declan Fraser eighth in the Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard.
“Man, crazy Sunday,” said Whincup, nowadays also Triple Eight Team Principal.
“Our day should have been done 500 metres into the race, spinning in front of the field up Mountain Straight in the water.
“Then I got another get-out-of-jail-free card when going through two cars after The Chase; I couldn’t believe we came out of there unscathed.
“We got to the back of the podium, which was great, but we just didn’t quite have the pace in the end.
“I would have been happy to come out of the weekend with three straight cars, but to have all three Triple Eight cars in the top 10 just shows unbelievable depth from a team perspective and I couldn’t be happier.”
Feeney recounted, “Well, I thought we were over about 20 seconds into the race.
“J-Dub was spinning, hitting cars, rear wing just missed the fence.
“Then, about five minutes later, he was nearly in another massive crash, so to even be in the mix with a straight car at the end was pretty cool.”
In his third Bathurst 1000 start, the 19-year-old recorded his best finish yet.
He admitted, however, that it was not the most polished of performances, and that he drove within himself in the latter stages in order to ensure he made the finish after crashing out last year.
“To come fifth, I’ll definitely take that,” declared Feeney.
“I made a few too many mistakes today, but overall, that’s probably about where we were.
“I had to remind myself of last year’s DNF. To get to the end of the race and the last Safety Car, I’m three cars behind the leader, so I had to have a reset and realise that I probably wasn’t going to fight with those boys.
“I probably didn’t drive 110 percent in that last stint; it was probably more 95 percent and just making sure I brought it home and kept [Lee] Holdsworth behind.
“The Triple Eight Race Engineering team is fantastic, they’ve done such a good job.
“We don’t always rock up with the fastest car, but somehow we manage to finish on top.
“Shane and GT deserve their win. Shane is so on top of the game this year and to see it all come together, not only for the Red Bull Ampol Racing cars, but also the Supercheap Auto wildcard as well, is pretty awesome.”