Whincup sees funny side of Bathurst bust

Of all people, Jamie Whincup should have known better.

But in a sign he may finally see the funny side of his disastrous 2014 Bathurst 1000, Whincup has confirmed he risked running out of fuel not once but twice that week.

Eighth-placed Holden superstar Whincup is hoping to turn around his V8 Supercars season by conquering Mount Panorama a fifth time on Sunday.

And plenty believe he can after Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell were installed as bookies’ favourites.

He was so close to title No.5 last year before ignoring pleas from team officials to ease his pace and running out of fuel on the race’s 161st and final lap.

He somehow limped over the line in fifth.

Unbelievably Whincup and co-driver Dumbrell risked the same thing when they attempted to drive back to Sydney airport afterwards.

Dumbrell admitted it was a “miracle” that they made it.

“We jumped in the rent-a-car and had a look at how many kilometres of fuel were left,” Dumbrell said.

“It had 210km of fuel to go and we had 230km to drive.

“We thought ‘let’s just roll the dice and see if we can get to the airport!’

“We got to Sydney airport. It was actually quite a miracle.”

Whincup confirmed the story, saying: “Yeah, I remember we said: ‘We can do this’ (before leaving Bathurst).”

Dumbrell said they even considered posting their rent-a-car fuel dilemma on social media before leaving Bathurst.

Then they considered their fuming team boss Roland Dane who sensationally publicly blamed Whincup for the 2014 Bathurst fuel debacle.

“We were about to put a photo on social media about this predicament we were in but we thought ‘probably a bit too soon’,” Dumbrell laughed.

Six-time V8 champion Whincup will be out to ensure his 2015 championship campaign doesn’t run out of gas at Bathurst.

Whincup arrives at the 55th Bathurst 1000 on 1586 points with five crunch rounds left, well behind Ford pace setter and arch rival Mark Winterbottom (2215pts).

Winterbottom’s Prodrive Racing team are vying for a third straight Bathurst 1000 triumph.

Winterbottom held out Whincup to emerge triumphant in 2013 while the Holden star’s fuel gaffe helped Prodrive Racing’s Chaz Mostert seal a stunning last-to-first 2014 win.

Practice for the Bathurst 1000 begins from 1115 AEDT on Thursday.

The Great Race is on Sunday.

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