Whincup survives Supercars shunting

By , Ben McKay is a Roar Guru

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    On a day of tumult at Sydney Motorsport Park, Jamie Whincup was perhaps the luckiest man in the Supercars field.

    Whincup was caught up in a bungle between Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen that left him with a ready-to-blow tyre and a crumpled car.

    With 14 laps remaining, Whincup had a marathon left in front of him but salvaged a podium finish with a stunning drive around Eastern Creek.

    Whincup held off Mark Winterbottom and other championship rivals despite a banged-up hood that was impeding his vision.

    “I don’t want to say too much because I probably should have been black-flagged. I couldn’t see a thing,” he said.

    “I was pushing as hard as I can out of my seat to look over.

    “You’re just going by feel … once you’re on brakes it’s all right as the nose goes down.

    “Thank God it’s a circuit I’ve been to a lot. If it was a new circuit I would have been absolutely knackered.”

    With title rivals McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen suffering out of their high-stakes duel, Whincup was the chief beneficiary in the title race.

    Whincup’s third-place finish lifted him more than 50 points closer to leader McLaughlin, a gap that now stands at 78.

    “I’m rapt to get on the podium, we’ll certainly take those points and run,” he said.

    “But no one’s counting the beans yet.

    “We need more pace. We don’t have enough pace.

    “All we can do is stay out of trouble and collect as many points as we can but that’s not my style.

    “We want to be able to attack and we’re not doing that at the moment so that’s the job at hand.”

    Whincup will get the chance to make further inroads into McLaughlin’s championship lead during Sunday’s 200km race, beginning at 2pm AEST.

    © AAP 2017