JAMIE WHINCUP TO RETIRE FROM SUPERCARS

JAMIE Whincup, the most successful driver in the history of the Supercars Championship, will retire from full-time Supercars driving at the completion of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.

The 37-year-old today confirmed the news as part of a multi-tiered announcement relating to a change of ownership of Triple Eight Race Engineering.

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Whincup, who has won a record seven Supercars Championship crowns and a record 122 championship races, will use the remainder of this year to best prepare for his new role with the team in 2022.

He will drive the #88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Commodore ZB as teammate to Shane van Gisbergen in this year’s championship, his 18th full-time season in the championship and 16th with Triple Eight Race Engineering.

The four-time Bathurst 1000 winner (who turns 38 this Saturday) will make his last appearance as a full-time Supercars driver at December’s Gold Coast 500 before replacing Roland Dane as Managing Director and Team Principal of Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2022.

He will evaluate the option of driving for the team as an endurance co-driver in 2022.

“I’ve always said that after I retire from full-time driving, I want to keep going racing and in 2018 I made the commitment for that to be with Triple Eight by becoming a shareholder,” Whincup said today in a release issued by the team.

Whincup with Roland Dane and Jess Dane. Pic: Supplied

“I’m honoured that Roland trusts me to lead the family that he’s built here in Australia.

“I’ll certainly maximise every opportunity this year and beyond to learn from him and I’m grateful that he will still be dedicating a portion of his time in 2022 to ensuring the team and I have the best opportunity for success.

“I have to thank everyone who has supported me during my driving career – family, friends, fans and partners.

“I’ll be giving my all to making sure we deliver the best results possible in 2021.”

Whincup, who bought into Triple Eight in 2018, has also increased his shareholding from 15% to 19%.

He embarks on his final full-time Supercars Championship campaign hunting a record eighth championship victory.

Whincup celebrating his seventh Supercars Championship win in 2017. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Whincup has ascended to become statistically the greatest driver in the history of the championship since debuting with Triple Eight in 2006 and debuting in the championship at Queensland Raceway with Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2002.

He won his first championship in 2008 and continued to rack up the titles in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Whincup teamed with Craig Lowndes to win the Bathurst 1000 in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and won again in 2012 paired with Paul Dumbrell.

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.