Top five a boost for V8s champ Whincup

Holden’s Jamie Whincup hopes a top five finish in Townsville on Sunday is the sign his V8 Supercars struggles are coming to an end.

Whincup still hasn’t won a race since March and leaves north Queensland sitting eighth on the standings – a whopping 391 points behind leader Mark Winterbottom.

After coming ninth in Saturday’s opening 200km race, Whincup’s fifth in Sunday’s race was his best finish since race two of the Perth Super Sprint event in May.

The Red Bull Racing driver said the result will give him something to draw on heading into the next event at Queensland Raceway from July 31.

“As I said at the start of weekend we were aiming for the top 10 so fifth was awesome,” Whincup said.

“We ground out all weekend and to be honest I couldn’t be happier.

“There’s still a long way to go but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“It was the first race for a long time I actually enjoyed.”

Whincup’s form improvement is sure to give some concern to Winterbottom.

Last year the Ford star held a commanding lead at the midpoint of the championship but could do little as Whincup won seven of the last 16 races to storm to his sixth title.

Winterbottom said he wasn’t ruling anyone out of the title race at this point.

“He has won six championships, he is not someone you write off, nor that team,” Winterbottom said.

“Him (Whincup), Fabian (Coulthard), (David) Reynolds, Chaz (Mostert), Van Gis (Shane van Gisbergen) – everyone is a threat.

“Anyone can win it and he is one of them.”

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