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Supercars Sydney III

Whincup explains Supercars Sydney team order snub

Retiring Supercars legend Jamie Whincup says he didn't want to simply hand victory to team-mate Shane van Gisbergen in the closing stages of today's third heat at Sydney Motorsport Park. 

Will Brown, Erebus Motorsport Holden leads Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden and Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Triple Eight drivers Whincup and van Gisbergen staged a thrilling and controversial battle across the second stint of today's final heat race at Eastern Creek, won by rookie Will Brown.

The pair found themselves running second and third, Whincup leading championship leader van Gisbergen, and both with plenty of car speed to hunt down Brown as the Erebus driver began to struggle with his tyres.

Van Gisbergen had the best tyre condition of the trio and, with 12 laps to go, did his best to get past Whincup so he could chase down Brown.

But Whincup wasn't in any mood to let his team-mate through, the pair slowing each other up as they bashed doors and ran wide in several corners.

The T8 pitwall did its best to mitigate the situation, calling on Whincup to let van Gisbergen through. But Whincup appeared to flatly refuse, asking on the radio why van Gisbergen's fight couldn't be called off to help the pair get to Brown.

Van Gisbergen did seem to eventually back off, but the damage was done as Brown held on for his first Supercars win ahead of Whincup and van Gisbergen.

Adding to the awkwardness of the situation is that Whincup is van Gisbergen's closest title rival – and will also be his team boss next season when the seven-time champion steps out of the driver's seat. 

Speaking post-race, Whincup explained that his impending retirement played a role in his decision not to let van Gisbergen through. 

"We were good for the win there," said a disappointed Whincup.

Whincup was reluctant to give up a win he felt was there for the taking in his final season

Whincup was reluctant to give up a win he felt was there for the taking in his final season

Photo by: Edge Photographics

"We pitted late and we were on the charge to catch Will, but SVG wanted to have a battle. So I thought we'd battle together. 

"I've only got a couple of races left, so I'm not going to give any away.

"We raced hard right to the end. It was a good opportunity for the win today, but unfortunately it didn't happen because we fought each other."

Van Gisbergen agreed that the battle cost the team a win. 

"That's a tough one," said the Kiwi. "Obviously a good battle, probably entertaining. But I feel like we lost the chance of a race win. 

"At one point I was enjoying the battle, but I was also thinking we've got to win the race. 

"It is what it is. I had a fun battle, but If let like we should have been up front."

Team manager Mark Dutton – who will also have Whincup as his direct boss next season – hinted a tense debrief to the race.

"From the garage we saw it one way, from the cockpit it was seen another way," he said. 

Van Gisbergen felt he should have been let through by Whincup

Van Gisbergen felt he should have been let through by Whincup

Photo by: Edge Photographics

"We'll debrief that and we'll have a chat [about] which was the right way and which was the wrong way. Probably it was pretty obvious, but we'll discuss it. 

"You debrief, you talk through it. You say what you could have done better and what you didn't do better. We'll discuss it professionally and we'll move on."

When asked if he too felt a win had gone begging he said: "It certainly did, yeah."

Dutton also joked about a flood of texts coming from current team boss Roland Dane, who is currently in Queensland, during the race. 

"I think I got fired during the race," he said. "But she'll be right, we'll see if that's confirmed."

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