Motorsport: Jamie Whincup - from Bathurst champ to chump

By Dale Budge

Jamie Whincup celebrates after taking pole position for Bathurst. Photo / Getty Images
Jamie Whincup celebrates after taking pole position for Bathurst. Photo / Getty Images

He is a four-time winner of the Great Race but Jamie Whincup is quickly fashioning a Bathurst reputation of throwing away wins at the famous venue.

Whincup made a dream start to his Bathurst career - chalking up a hat-trick of wins from 2006-08 alongside Craig Lowndes with the then Vodafone sponsored Triple Eight Race team.

He added another crown in 2012 partnering Paul Dumbrell in Red Bull Racing colours but he's also thrown away at least four other chances to win the iconic race. Had the 33-year-old avoided the drama and won those races he could have been just one sole victory behind the legendary King of the Mountain - the late Peter Brock - as the most successful Bathurst driver of all-time.

From running out of petrol to missing team radio instructions or making uncharacteristic late race errors Bathurst has become a highlights reel of Whincup's despair in recent years.

How it's all gone wrong for Whincup

2006-08 Whincup dominates the race alongside Craig Lowndes as the Team Vodafone Ford bagged three consecutive wins at the Mountain.

2009 Whincup makes contact with Jason Bargwanna, turning him around. Whincup continued to finish fifth.

2010 Whincup finishes second to teammate Lowndes in the first 1-2 finish at the Mountain since 1984

2011 Finished a lap down in 21st place after he missed the call to pit late in the race and the car ran out of fuel ending his chances of victory.

2012 Whincup holds off a charging Dave Reynolds to win the race for the fourth time.

2013 Fought with Mark Winterbottom over the closing laps, attempted a pass at Griffins Bend only to run wide and lose time to the Ford, who would hold on for the win.

2014 Whincup led the race late but needed to conserve fuel to get to the finish. Despite numerous team warnings he continued to drive hard trying to keep in front of the closing Chaz Mostert. He eventually ran out of fuel and dropped to fifth as his car slowed at the end of the final lap.

2015 A late safety car came out with Whincup behind teammate Craig Lowndes in the order. If he pitted he would be forced to double stack and lose time so Whincup ignored team instructions to pit and stayed out. He inexplicably drove past the safety car in the process and was handed a drive through penalty that ruined his race.

2016 With 150 laps remaining Whincup makes contact with the Volvo of Scott McLaughlin at the end of Conrod Straight, bumping the Kiwi off the track. As McLaughlin rejoined Whincup slowed to redress the situation but Garth Tander's Holden, McLaughlin's Volvo and Whincup's Holden came together. The other two suffered significant damage but Whincup carried on. He crossed the line first but was awarded a 15 second time penalty that dropped him to 11th.

- NZ Herald

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