Jamie Whincup now sits in the same rarified air as six of the legends of Australian touring car racing history after claiming his fourth V8 Supercars Championship at the Sydney Telstra 500 yesterday.
He joins Ian Geoghegan, Dick Johnson, Mark Skaife, Allan Moffat, Jim Richards and Bob Jane as the seventh member of the exclusive club to have won four or more Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championships.
After winning the title in 2008, 2009, 2011 and now 2012, Whincup says his most recent success feels like the best.
“Everyone keeps asking the question which championship was better,” he said.
“This one certainly feels like its the best but I don't want to disrespect the other three. They were very, very special as well.
“It's an unbelievable feeling, standing on the podium there, looking down on everyone that's contributed to the sport somewhere or another. It's been a phenomenal year for us and it's been an intense battle.
“On the track it's been a lot of fun, we've had some good battles which we'll all look back on. Some were painful at the time but I think we'll look back on them and really enjoy it for what it was.
“There's been a lot of burning the midnight oil back at the workshop trying to repeat what we did last year. I remember thinking about doing another 1-2 championship finish in January, thinking ‘how are we going to manage to do that a second time?’ but we've been able to score more points so I couldn't be happier.
“I was happy with one championship and somehow I'm now sitting here with four. I'm not a greedy person but we'll come out next year and roll on and have a bit more fun.
“Right at the moment I'm quite relieved, and I'm sure all the other drivers are as well, that we're finally done. It's been good but we're certainly well and truly burnt out and looking forward to a holiday.
“I'm sure this next month will be enjoyable and we'll reflect on what a tough, hard battle it was and how all that hard work paid off.”
Whincup ended up claiming a total of 12 race wins, seven pole positions and 24 podium finishes from the 30 races held in the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship.
He will collect his championship trophy this evening at the 14th Annual V8 Supercar Gala Awards in Sydney.