Jamie Whincup says he was not surprised to see V8 Supercars officials call what he described as an ‘entertainment' Safety Car to liven up the closing stages of today's race at the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
Whincup and co-driver Sebastien Bourdais had enjoyed a lead of over six seconds prior to the full course yellows appearing on Lap 56 of 79 so that officials could retrieve debris from the exit of Turn 11.
The TeamVodafone Holden driver was then forced to fight off a determined charge from Jonathon Webb in his Triple Eight customer Commodore over the final 20 laps, eventually taking the win less than 0.5s ahead of his rival.
“That was an entertainment Safety Car that one, I knew it was going to come,” said Whincup matter-of-factly of the third and final full-course caution.
“There was a mirror on the track which was not dangerous at all, but it's all good, it's part of our sport.
“I wasn't pushing hard because I knew a Safety Car was going to come somewhere.”
Whincup paid tribute to the efforts of co-driver Bourdais, who survived all three attempts to get the race started before spending the opening part of the race battling with the Trading Post FPR Falcon of Mika Salo.
“It was a crazy start to the race,” he said.
“I suppose it made good TV but it massively took its toll back in the pitlane working out what to do with the strategy with the race being shortened and turning into a one-stopper.
“Everyone was massively on their toes. I didn't have to do much, I was just sitting in the back watching it all unfold.
“Seb did an awesome job at the start, he had an awesome, awesome battle with Mika Salo. That was quality TV all round.
“My stint was pretty straight forward until that soft safety car with the mirror on the track, then it picked up after that.
“My car was very good, I was just trying to make sure the tyres got to the end.
“We were under control and then I saw Mark coming pretty strong with fresher tyres. We pushed on and gave it everything we had and didn't come home with any damage. That's the way it should be.”
The three-time and reigning champion added that he'll be more aggressive over the circuit's kerbing tomorrow if the electronic sensors are once again left off.
“It was hard to know how much of the kerbs to use, but we'll go through all that tonight and obviously, if the same rules apply we'll need to use a little bit more to make sure we don't get swamped at the end,” he said.
See below for Speedcafe.com's Armor All Gold Coast 600 Race Guide