Motorsport: Whincup 'going hard' at Gold Coast

Jamie Whincup at Bathurst. Photo / Getty Images
Jamie Whincup at Bathurst. Photo / Getty Images

There's plenty of reasons why you could forgive V8 Supercars star from taking a softly, softly approach to this weekend's Gold Coast 600 event.

Whincup has a 100-point championship deficit to team-mate Craig Lowndes but must share his Holden Commodore with French driver Sebastian Bourdais for the weekend on the unforgiving Surfers Paradise street circuit.

And while Whincup would have every reason for just wanting to come out of the event with his car in one piece and not trailing Lowndes by any more points in the championship race, that's not the approach the TeamVodafone ace will take.

"No we're not going to be conservative," he emphatically told reporters.

"This is a major event on our calendar.

"It's a stand-alone event. We're going to go hard and worry about the championship next week."

And he feels bringing in international drivers such as ex-Formula One and Champ Car star Bourdais and Lowndes' highly credential British co-driver Andy Priaulx for the weekend is far more beneficial than many may think.

While there's the obvious risk of sending out a driver with little experience racing V8 Supercars into a competitive environment, Whincup says there's plenty of plusses for the teams too.

"It's awesome listening to them talk," he said.

"You get so used to doing it one way here in Australia. I spend most of my time trying to develop this race car to be the best that it can be and they throw these comments in from left-field.

"Seb and Andy are going to massively help us with our car. They're coming in with ideas from left-field where we're pretty narrow-minded so it's great."

Bourdais and Priaulx will be out to make the most of Friday's four practice sessions on the Surfers Paradise street circuit when the on-track action gets underway this morning.

That is the prelude to the weekend's racing which will feature a 300km race on both Saturday and Sunday.

- AAP

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