JAMIE Whincup has made V8 Supercars history, claiming his seventh championship title in an epic finale in Newcastle on Sunday.
The Gold Coaster driver secured victory after rival Scott McLaughlin was effectively ruled out by three in-race penalties.
After two penalties during the race and with just two laps to go McLaughlin had fought and fought to get to the 11th place he needed to win the Championship.
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But in a dice with Craig Lowndes for that very position he got a third penalty – a post-race pit lane penalty – and Whincup won another title by just 21 points.
The penalty dropped McLaughlin from the title winning position 11 to 18.
McLaughlin was devastated after the loss but says he’ll be trying again next year.
“Oh man, I just gave it my all, gave it my all for the boys,” McLaughlin said.
“I just feel sorry for the guys, we shouldn’t be in the position. To all our fans who have stuck by us and our sponsors I am so sorry, I wish we could have done it for them. At least we have got the team’s Championship
“I am 24 years old, I will have another crack yet.”
Whincup has now won more titles than Dick Johnson, Mark Skaife and Ian Geoghegan. But he didn’t realise he had until after he had crossed the finish line.
“I didn’t have a clue across the line, I assumed I came second when the crew said I got number one. Massive event for everyone, I was so glad we were able to put on a good show,” he said.
Whincup admits he felt for McLaughlin.
“We fought hard, didn’t have the quickest car all year but it is all about team-work and sport is all mental,” Whincup said.
“No doubt Scotty will go on to win the next eight but I am glad we got one.”