22 Aug 2017

Whincup notches up Supercar record

6:45 am on 22 August 2017

Australian Jamie Whincup has claimed the record for most Supercars wins after running away with Sunday's race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Jamie Whincup posted the fastest lap in practice at Pukekohe.

Jamie Whincup Photo: Photosport

Whincup has also put himself back in the title mix after a near-perfect weekend at Eastern Creek.

Whincup followed his Saturday podium with victory ahead of New Zealanders Fabian Coulthard and Shane Van Gisbergen in Sunday's 200km race.

His bumper haul of points reduced his 129-point deficit to series leader Scott McLaughlin to just 12 heading into the endurance events while Whincup's 106th win lifted him above Craig Lowndes on the list of all-time race victories.

Starting fourth on the grid, Whincup was one of a clutch of drivers to swamp polesitter McLaughlin off the line.

He grabbed the race lead from Chaz Mostert after undercutting him in the pits, and returned to the front later when Van Gisbergen - who led after a speedier pit lane effort - yielded under team orders.

Whincup had showed superior race pace all afternoon, with Van Gisbergen complying with the direction given the fast-finishing DJR Team Penske pair of Coulthard and McLaughlin were closing the gap to the front.

"Thanks to my teammate. We look after each other here at Red Bull," Whincup said.

"The car was quick. It's a good feeling heading into a big endurance season."

Van Gisbergen spared the team an ugly confrontation, a day after he duelled with McLaughlin at great cost.

Van Gisbergen botched an overtaking move under a safety car, and McLaughlin responded by hitting his compatriot at the next corner - costing them both a swag of championship points.

That allowed both Whincup and Coulthard to close the gap to McLaughlin substantially across the weekend.

McLaughlin finished fourth on Sunday after maintaining his stunning qualifying run.

The 24-year-old claimed his seventh-straight pole to equal Whincup's all-time best season of 13 poles.

With eight races left, McLaughlin appears certain to set an astonishing new benchmark for the sport.

But it couldn't deliver him a race win in Sydney.

The New Zealander's poor start cost him dearly, and he was again overtaken by Van Gisbergen after his compatriot pulled off a divebomb pass on turn five.

The 24-year-old leader now has four weeks to regroup before the Sandown 500 begins a month of all-important endurance races that will go a long way to determining the outcome of the title.