Open championship delights V8s officials

There’s been six different winners of the six V8 Supercars races this season but a familar face on top of the standings.

Six-time champion Jamie Whincup is again looking down on the field after claiming a second-place finish on Phillip Island yesterday.

He was the closest finisher to runaway winner Scott McLaughlin on Saturday, claiming enough points to claim a championship lead.

Whincup (531 points) is 27 points ahead of Commodore stablemate Craig Lowndes (504) with reigning champion Mark Winterbottom (489) not too far back.

In over a decade of racing in the sport, Whincup has seen plenty, but he’s never seen such an open start to the season.

“It is nuts,” he said.

He said the tightness was showing in every session, including Saturday’s qualifying session.

“The top eight cars within three tenths around a place like this is crazy close,” he said.

Whincup put it down to the sport’s racing regulations and increased movement of drivers and pit-lane specialists.

“We’re into our fourth year of ‘car of the future’ and everyone is starting to maximise,” he said.

“A few engineers move from team to team and everyone’s fishing in the same pond.

“Every year it gets closer, more and more competitive and no doubt this year would be the same.”

It’s part of the reason Whincup isn’t getting ahead of himself now he’s regained the championship lead for the first time since the opening day of the season.

“We’ve just got out of the blocks. There’s a long way to go.”

Could Sunday bring a seventh winner in as many races? Whincup says he hopes so.

“Who knows what tomorrow is going to bring. The wind can change here, the conditions can change and it’s a completely new kettle of fish.

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