Holden VF Commodore V8 Supercar COTF – Red Bull Racing Australia #88 – Jamie Whincup – 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Winner
Red Bull Racing Australia Holden VF Commodore driven by Jamie Whincup to win the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Of all of his Supercars Championship victories, Jamie Whincup’s last-lap sealing of the 2017 title on the streets of Newcastle surely has to go down as the most dramatic of his seven crowns.
All season the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver had been trying to keep pace with the fastest car in the category, the Shell V-Power Racing Team Falcon of Scott McLaughlin.
It had taken Whincup until October on the Gold Coast to finally get his nose in front on the points table, claiming three race wins and two pole positions through the season heading into the last round – certainly not the winning and pole ratios he’d built his 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 titles upon.
But the true key for Whincup in the 2017 season was consistency and he continued to grind out the results and stay in touch before finally making his move during the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Holding a 30 point lead over McLaughlin heading to Newcastle it seemed that Whincup was in the box seat for the championship, though it all turned around on the first lap of the Saturday race when he clashed with Michael Caruso’s Nissan and damaged his car.
It forced Whincup to pit lane for repairs and eventually he rejoined to claim 21st place and the 42 championship points that went with it – but McLaughlin went on to win the race, claim the 150 points for winning and he swept into the lead by 78 heading into Sunday.
But then the tables turned in the final race; McLaughlin picked up a pit lane penalty for speeding in pit lane and another for contact with Simona De Silvestro before contact with Craig Lowndes on the last lap handed him a penalty that gave Whincup – who won the race – the championship crown for a record seventh time.
“It was an unbelievable day from where I stand!” said Whincup post-race.
“Does it get any better than that? We just felt robbed yesterday, we felt like we worked so hard and did so much to get ourselves within championship contention but we didn’t feel like we deserved that yesterday.
“Today, we just thought we had to go out there and do our job, and for things to fall our way. We feel like we’ve worked the hardest and we deserve it and there’s someone looking down on us and we got the ultimate result.
“Big thanks to my team and my teammates, they played a huge part today. Credit to the DJR Team Penske crew, they’ve been tough competition all year, but Scott (McLaughlin) will probably come back and win five or six championships of his own in the future.”
Whincup’s 2017 season across the 26 races yielded four wins, two pole positions, 15 podium finishes, 18 top fives and 22 top 10s with a 100 percent finishing record across the championship.
His victory gave Triple Eight Race Engineering its eighth Supercars Driver’s Championship in 10 years, but importantly its first as the factory racing team of GM Holden.
This model will be produced in an exclusive limited edition with the number to be set based on pre-orders received and presented in deluxe packaging along with a commemorative flyer and numbered Certificate of Authenticity.