Whincup happy to be ‘exposed’ in Mustang battle

Jamie Whincup says he’d rather be ‘exposed’ to mistakes like his late-race moment at The Bend than simply let Ford’s Mustang dominate Supercars.

Amid a challenging weekend for the Red Bull Holden team at The Bend, Whincup came out swinging in Sunday’s second race with an effort that saw him rubbing panels with the leading Mustangs.

He even had a crack at early leader Will Davison on the second lap of the race, before settling into a comfortable fourth place, with the leading trio of Fords just in sight.

Then, with six laps to go, Whincup ran wide on the way out of Turn 10, the wild moment allowing Nick Percat to sneak through for fourth.

There were no regrets post-race for the seven-time series champion, however, who said he’d rather drop fourth chasing the Mustangs than settle for being the best Holden in the field.

“We’re here to take risks, if you’re not taking risks you can sit in the stand,” he said.

“But I don’t want to do that, I want to go out there and go hard and take risks.

“We weren’t trying to run fourth, we were trying to keep in contention. I thought Chaz [Mostert] was going to have a go at Will, so I was trying to stay in contention to see if we could open up a podium opportunity.

“You want to be exposed, you don’t want to live life unexposed and be conservative. You want to strive to get more. And if you strive to get more, you’re going to expose yourself to a few errors here and there.

“If you’re there trying to be the first Holden and race Nick Percat, then that’s not the way we roll. That’s being too conservative. We’re out there trying to have a crack.

“We should have run fourth, we ran fifth. No big difference to me.”

According to Whincup, Sunday’s race perfectly highlighted the delicate balance between fighting the Fords, and maintaining realistic expectations, that Triple Eight is currently facing.

“You’ve got to be careful with what you’re trying to achieve,” he said.

“It was Ford territory [at The Bend], no doubt. If you try too hard, you end up screwing yourself over.

“And in some ways I was a victim of that, trying to hang on to two blokes I probably shouldn’t be trying to hang on to.

“I was ragging the thing pretty hard, and just a slight error, dropped a wheel, and that’s the end of that.”

Whincup also admitted that he wouldn’t have taken the same level of risk in pursuit of McLaughlin, Davison and Mostert on a street circuit.

“It’s risk versus reward. I wouldn’t have been pushing anywhere near as hard if it was a street circuit and I might end up fencing it,” he said.

“But there’s plenty of run-off here. Live and learn, move on.”

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