Whincup: ‘No issue’ with teams which protested

Jamie Whincup. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Jamie Whincup. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Jamie Whincup has “absolutely no issue” with the teams which lodged that protest leading to the disqualification of the two Red Bull Ampol Racing entries in Newcastle.

Shane van Gisbergen was first to the chequered flag and team-mate Broc Feeney second in Race 1 of the Repco Supercars Championship, but both the #97 and #88 Chevrolet Camaros were disqualified over a technical breach.

Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters is thus officially the race winner and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert the runner-up, although those results remain provisional pending Triple Eight Race Engineering’s appeal.

It was Tickford which had protested both Triple Eight cars, over cooling system installation and allegedly using a substance other than dry ice in the cooling system, while WAU protested only van Gisbergen’s #97 entry, over installation only.

The charges were upheld over installation, with Triple Eight’s Camaros having had supplementary dry ice boxes situated to the right of the drivers’ seats rather than mounted on the passenger side.

While Whincup was left fuming over, he claims, Supercars (specifically Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess) not “tell[ing] the truth” to stewards about verbally approving the installation, he was not aiming any barbs at Tickford or WAU.

Worth noting is that, according to the summary of the stewards hearing, Burgess “disagreed with the proposition that he had given permission to the Respondent to use the system or that he approved it for use in the Race.”

Whincup told Speedcafe.com regarding the aforementioned teams, “We’ve got absolutely no issue with the teams that put in a protest; that’s part of racing.

“They were probably trying to get on the podium themselves, so that all makes sense; no issue whatsoever.

“I’ve got no issue with the stewards; they made the decision on the little facts they had. I’ve got a big issue with Supercars.”

The matter certainly added spice to proceedings after the race itself proved relatively uneventful, with van Gisbergen crossing the finish line 14 seconds ahead of the rest of the field and 19 seconds ahead of any non-Triple Eight car.

WAU Director Ryan Walkinshaw dismissed suggestions that the protests were a sign of ‘gloves off’, but nevertheless showed no signs of repent.

Ryan Walkinshaw. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Ryan Walkinshaw. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

“It’s not gloves off between the teams,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“There’s rules and we play by rules, and if another team doesn’t play by the rules, then expect to get pinged.

“We got pinged for having an air gun in our car for 26 seconds longer than we should have done last year at a round and got disqualified for that, and that was a very similar sort of situation.

“At the end of the day, teams make mistakes, you take it on the chin, and you move on. It’s that simple. The rules are black and white.

“If any other team had done it, they’d be expecting the same result, including us.”

Mostert had been disqualified from a race at Hidden Valley last year when a battery-operated blower was used on his car while on the grid, a breach which was accepted as not deliberate but nevertheless a contravention of technical regulations.

For now, he is the drivers’ championship leader after being classified second in both races in Newcastle in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang.

Triple Eight’s appeal against the disqualification, if it goes ahead, is likely to take place in the lead up to the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, where Supercars is on-track from Thursday, March 30.

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