Whincup out to send Holden off on a high

Jamie Whincup is desperate to send Holden out a winner by claiming victory at the Bathurst 1000.
Jamie Whincup is desperate to send Holden out a winner by claiming victory at the Bathurst 1000.

The Supercars championship might be gone, but Jamie Whincup is determined to send Holden out on a winning note at Bathurst.

Ford flyer Scott McLaughlin secured his third-straight championship on Sunday, creating an unassailable 305-point gap on Whincup at Tailem Bend ahead of the first season finale at Mount Panorama in 20 years.

There won't be a title on the line at the Bathurst 1000, but Red Bull legend still says there is serious motivation.

The great race in NSW will be the last before the Holden brand is retired by General Motors at the end of the year.

"It's been a crazy year. It's been an emotional year for all the Holden supporters," Whincup said.

"Certainly everyone that's worked for Holden over the years and that are just as passionate about the brand as we are as a racing team.

"There's certainly some added motivation there to make sure we finish off on a high.

"We're certainly disappointed we couldn't take it (the championship fight) to Bathurst.

"It's our responsibility to step up and unfortunately we couldn't do it this season.

"We'd like to think we'll put in our best performance in the best race of the year."

Whincup's last title came in 2017, when he snatched the championship from McLaughlin in one of the sport's most-dramatic finales.

But since then, McLaughlin has responded by taking all before him during the last three years to etch his name as one of Australian touring car racing's greats.

McLaughlin has racked up 56 career victories - 40 coming since the start of the 2018 season - taking him past Garth Tander (55) into outright fourth on the all-time race wins list.

"It's been well documented that it's been a tough year for every team up and down pit lane," McLaughlin told Fox Sports.

"For me this (championship) feels probably the best out of all of them, because of the way we've had to bounce back from ups and downs.

"For us to come through and still win the championship with a round to go, it's a true testament to the character of the team and the people that are behind me."

Australian Associated Press