V8 Supercars are safer than any football code according to two-time champion Jamie Whincup.

The V8s took to the Surfers Paradise street circuit for practice ahead of this weekend's Gold Coast 600 just days after the world of motorsport was left stunned by the death of England's Dan Wheldon in a 15-car crash at the IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas.

The tragedy had particular resonance for V8 Supercars as Wheldon was to partner current champion James Courtney for the Surfers Paradise round which pairs regular V8 drivers with an overseas-based star.

But while Wheldon's fiery death ignited debate across the world over safety in various motorsport championships, there are no concerns for Holden ace Whincup.


"There's huge differences between V8s and Indycar," said Whincup, who trails team-mate Craig Lowndes by 100 points going into this weekend's event in the V8 title race.

"I think it shook the IndyCar guys up a lot. They know the risks are huge in that sport and there's been a lot said about that from current drivers and (NASCAR champion) Jimmie Johnson.

"There's been a lot of talk about IndyCar racing. It doesn't really affect me too much.

"Our V8 cars, yes things can go wrong, but they're unbelievably safe.

"I feel our sport is much safer than even any footy code."

Since the event began in 1960, just three deaths have occurred in the Bathurst 1000 endurance race while last year Holden driver Fabian Coulthard tested the safety features of his Commodore with a high speed crash which stripped almost every panel off his car but left the New Zealander unharmed.

There are plans to make the category even safer with the introduction of the 'Car of the Future' from next year.

Under the plan several measures have been taken to improve the safety features of the vehicles competing in the championship.


These include a control roll cage along with a control driver seat positioned as central to the car as possible.

The fuel tank will also be moved from the car boot to in front of the rear axle after two incidents during the year where cars have been engulfed in flame after rear-end collisions ruptured their tanks.

Polycarbonate windscreens will also replace glass and collapsible steering wheels will be fitted.