Motorsport: Whincup on top at Eastern Creek

Jamie Whincup on his way to victory in Sydney. Photo / Getty Images
Jamie Whincup on his way to victory in Sydney. Photo / Getty Images

Jamie Whincup delivered the response of a champion as he regained the lead in the V8 Supercars title race with victory at Sydney Motorsport Park on Sunday.

The Holden racer, who handed the lead over to Ford's Mark Winterbottom following his disappointing 23rd place finish in Saturday's race, took just 24 hours to rocket back to the top with an emphatic display.

Whincup led virtually from start to finish in Sunday's 220km race to move one point ahead of Winterbottom going into the endurance portion of what is turning out to be an absolute thriller of a year.

The three-time champion came in almost over 10 seconds ahead of teammate Craig Lowndes to claim his sixth victory of the year with Winterbottom in third.

And while delighted to have got over his Saturday disappointment so quickly, Whincup knows he's facing a real scrap to keep hold of his No.1 plate.

"I say this every year, it always comes down to a handful of points in the last race on the last day," he said.

"It's just an absolute dogfight. It has been huge one right from the start of the year.

"I expect it to go right to the last race ... it all comes down to who is leading on the last lap of the last race."

Winterbottom's Ford Performance Racing teammate Will Davison came in fifth behind veteran Russell Ingall, who wisely used his soft compound tyres at the start of the race to maximise his track position.

Nonetheless Davison's result keeps him above Lowndes in the title standings, although all four contenders are separated by a mere 152 points.

Winterbottom said he was happy with his weekend results of a second and third.

"Eastern Creek doesn't suit our cars as well as probably Sandown will, I always thought this was a bit of a danger round," he said.

"We've gained points, we've got two podiums and got a straight car.

"It's a good result."

The next stop in the V8 Supercars championship is the first of this year's endurance races, the Sandown 500 on September 16.

That will be followed by the marquee Bathurst 1000 on October 7.

- AAP

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