No bad blood from Whincup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No bad blood from Whincup

By Guy Hand 02/12/2007 09:10:29 PM Comments (0)

Far from the acrimony which surrounded the end of last season's V8 Supercar championship, Holden's Garth Tander walked away from Phillip Island with dignity and the well-wishes of the man he edged out.

Ford's Jamie Whincup, so close himself to winning a maiden V8 title but ultimately failing by just two points, said he was disappointed with losing but happy with a year which has lifted him into the sport's elite.

Tenth in the championship last year and on a second chance after being axed from the category four years previously, Whincup exceeded all expectations.

Perhaps the biggest feather in his cap was beating his more-credentialled Triple Eight Racing teammate Craig Lowndes over the season.

It was a long way from Rick Kelly's championship win last year, in which he and Lowndes duelled all the way from the track to the stewards' room over the course of two days before Kelly was confirmed champion.

"I can go home and look in the mirror and say I did the best job I possibly could, and today that was second best," Whincup said.

"I do believe the best man won on the day.

"I was 10th last year, and I've improved eight places to the front of the pack which is a good achievement, I believe.

"I can say I'm ahead of some pretty good class out there."

The championship slipped away from Whincup over the course of the weekend - not because he did anything wrong, but because his car just didn't have the speed Tander's had over the first two races.

Whincup finished ahead of Tander in race three, but couldn't pass race winner Todd Kelly in the final few corners to grab a win which would have secured him the title.

Instead Tander, Whincup's teammate in 2003 at Garry Rogers Motorsport, took the championship with his fourth placed finish in the race, which also secured him the round win after winning races one and two.

The weekend also marked the last V8 meet for veteran John Bowe, who has retired from the sport.

Bowe finished 23rd in Sunday's final race after trailing the field home in the other two races.

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