HE'S about to tackle his final event as a full-time Supercars driver, but Jamie Whincup is just as determined to find success in the Bathurst 1000 as he has ever been.
On Tuesday after Red Bull Air Race World Champion Matt Hall made a special landing on Mountain Straight in tribute to Whincup, the star driver issued fighting words.
He will be doing all he can to mark the finale with a Great Race victory.
"Of course I feel that we've got as good an opportunity this weekend as ever, I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we had a chance. So we'll do what we can and just try and be there at the end of the six-and-a-half hours," he said.
"When I made the decision I wanted to make sure that I finished at my peak and at my most competitive, so of course I'm up for a fight.
"I've got to make sure I'm doing a good job, got to make sure the car is quick and then of course we're going to fight it out, I'm not going to hand it over to anyone."
Fittingly the driver who will share Whincup's seat in the #88 Red Bull Commodore at Mount Panorama in NSW's Central West town of Bathurst, will be Craig Lowndes, the same man who pulled off a Bathurst three-peat with him between 2006-08.
Though the 38-year-old has had hard-luck stories at the Mount across his 19 starts, in total he has four Bathurst wins to his credit.
"We've had a quick car here and been in contention a lot of the time. Of course this is the hardest race to win and the easiest race to lose and we've had little issues here, there and everywhere over the years, but we've also had some days where it's gone right and been able to stand on the top step four times," he said.
"I'm not a greedy person, once would've been enough for me, so to have four to my name is a fantastic feeling."
Next season Whincup will move into a team ownership role and it remains to be seen if he will make himself available to contest the Bathurst 1000 as a co-driver.
But if this Sunday's race is his last, the man known as JDub still leaves behind a remarkable legacy as a driver.
Heading into Bathurst he's won 124 races and enjoyed 237 podiums. He's won the championship seven times and sat on pole position on 92 occasions.
Though he has proved this season he is still competitive - he currently sits second in the championship - Whincup said the decision to call time on his full-time driving career was the right one for him.
"Being honest I don't regret anything, I make a decision with all the information that I've got in front of me. Of course everyone puts on their captain hindsight cap and changes their mind afterwards, but that's not what it's all about," he said.
"I feel it's time, looking forward to my last event, and looking forward to what I call chapter three, which is going to be just as exciting as chapter two.
"The team, obviously I'm just blown away by the effort they've put into my last event, they're making it very special for me. Win lose or draw, I'm going to try and enjoy it as much as I possibly can."
Whincup will begin his 20th Bathurst 1000 campaign on Thursday when the Supercars series stages two, one-hour practice sessions. The first begins at 10am.
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