Demise of the V8 won't faze Supercars driver

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 17/08/2014
Jamie Whincup
Getty
JAMIE WHINCUP: "Everyone will be going absolutely crazy and really grabbing those little practice sessions, we've got to try and improve the car as much as we can."

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V8 Supercars' leading driver Jamie Whincup has no qualms about the series changing its name and "V8" being dropped.

Officials are debating whether it's time to move on from cars running V8 engines in the category.

This move is being driven because fewer manufacturers are producing V8 cars.

Ford will ditch the Falcon at the end of 2016 and Holden will likely build a front-drive sedan to replace the Commodore. This would leave Mercedes Benz as the only manufacturer in the series actually making V8 cars for the public.

Because of this, questions are being asked whether the series should follow suit and ditch V8 engines.

Traditionalists are against this move, but Whincup feels it's a sign of the times to move on.

"Let's be honest, there is a possibility that we might not be running V8 engines forever," Whincup told Sunday News.

"I won't go into the debate whether we should be or not, but I think if they take the words ‘V8' out of the category then they've got options.

"It doesn't worry me what the category is called," he added.

"I'm a fan of a V8 engine and the sound, but at the same time I'm a fan of keeping up with the times as well.

"If V8 engines aren't what mums and dads drive the kids to school in on a regular basis, then we need to change the cars and race what the most common car is."

Whincup is back in his usual place, at the top of the points standings and he's made a dramatic turnaround in form to get past Mark Winterbottom, who had a lead of over 100 points a few rounds ago.

"We feel like we're somewhat back on track," Whincup said.

"We've worked really hard to improve our car speed. While we've been able to turn most things around, there are still a few challenges left to be fully in a comfortable place.

"We're back leading the championship and that's good news, we'd rather be there than anywhere else, but there is still a long way to go."

Whincup admitted it was tough experience to go through, to be regularly among the also rans in races, but he said he never felt his chances of retaining the championship were gone.

"I've been around long enough to understand that things can turnaround," he said.

"I have a lot of faith in the Red Bull team. We've been behind the eight ball seven or eight times over the last seven of eight years and the guys and girls have always been able to turn it around.

"I really think they've done it again, it doesn't matter what happens from here on in, they've turned around a form slump.

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"It's been a constant grind this year, we haven't had a rest and we don't want one, we want to keep slogging it out."

The series comes to life again next week with the Sydney Motorsport Park 400, it's the last sprint event before the endurance rounds and Whincup isn't expecting an easy weekend.

"Sydney is going to be another challenge for us," Whincup said.

"Our weakness this year has been our pace on the soft tyres, especially at the end of long races. Sunday's race in Sydney is a long one, so that's a big challenge.

"We're doing a lot of homework on it and we'll see where we are against the opposition."

- Sunday News

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