Whincup: We just weren't good enough

Andrew van Leeuwen
·2-min read

The seven-time series champion has been in hunt for an eighth crown all season, providing the stiffest contest to a largely-dominant McLaughlin.

However Whincup's title hopes screeched to a halt today, his margin to McLaughlin now an insurmountable 305 points heading to next month's season finale in Bathurst.

The early conclusion to the title fight in McLaughlin's favour is at odds to the early season form, the Triple Eight Holdens having looked the class of the field at the season-opening Adelaide 500 and the Australian Grand Prix, before it was cancelled.

But Triple Eight has seemingly failed to fire since the resumption of the season in June, inconsistency in car speed and uncharacteristic strategic and pit errors proving costly for both Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen.

According to Whincup there was no lack of effort from T8 in the battle against DJR Team Penske, just a simple lack of execution.

“We genuinely had quite good pace at Adelaide and the Grand Prix,” said Whincup.

“We pushed hard to try and improve the car’s pace as the year went on, made some gains, made some losses as well.

“We certainly weren’t in a position where we were just going to run around second, we did everything we could. That showed with a couple of poor results while we were experimenting with things.

“There’s not much more I can really explain about that. We gave it all we had and just weren’t good enough.”

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Whincup also paid tribute to McLaughlin, praising the Kiwi as a deserving three-time champion.

“I’ve enjoyed the season. Sport is about the variabilities and curveballs that get thrown at you," he said.

“It’s who deals with those curveballs the best and adapts to those conditions. From a sporting point of view this year has been great. We haven’t known what tracks we’re going to, the formats have changed, it’s just been turned on its head.

“I’ve always said whoever wins the championship is certainly going to deserve it, one way or another.

“Scotty and his crew have been the cream for a couple of years and have shown this year that with all the variabilities, they’ve still come out on top.

“It’s what it should be. They who work the hardest, bring the best car to the track and do a good job at the track as well should get the biggest prize of the year.”