V8s race changes split Frosty, Whincup

Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom are fighters on the V8 Supercars circuit and off it.

The most recent championship winners are at odds over changes to the series, which begins today at Symmons Plains.

Last year, Saturday racing at ‘SuperSprint’ meets was split into two 60km races, but in 2016, the series will feature just one 120km race – worth the same number of points as Sunday’s 200km race – in the hope of more on-track action.

Winterbottom is a fan, saying the increased points bounty on Saturday should lead to renegade racing.

“In races last year, if you passed a car it was worth two points, (but) you turn a car round, it was 25 points (lost),” he said.

“What it’s going to do is produce better racing because the incentive, the carrot to pass a car is now six points.”

Whincup, who has an untouchable record for qualifying first and leading the field home, disagrees.

“For me, the more races the better. I think two races on a Saturday is better,” he said.

“More support categories is better as well, I think we’re a little bit lean.

“Two shorter races with a compulsory pitstop would be ideal because then you’re not losing anything.”

Winterbottom said added time in qualifying and more soft tyres meant teams had more opportunities to put fast cars on the tarmac.

“Fifteen minutes qualifying and two sets of tyres … it’ll be exciting not to see cars in the pits and out on the track,” he said.

“Qualifying for me is now the best part of the weekend. The format allows you to go hard at it.”

The points shift has sparked debate on whether the Bathurst 1000 should be worth double points, but Winterbottom drew the line at that radical proposal.

“If your co-driver sticks it in the fence then your championship is over.,” he said.

“What you get from Bathurst is far more than 600 points. You get the Peter Brock trophy. I don’t know what more you’d want.”

On this point, Whincup was happy to agree.

“It’s a debate. What Mark said makes sense. (Bathurst) already has a massive influence on the championship as it is,” he said.

“But I might change my mind overnight.”

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