Jamie Whincup is going out on a high, claiming the Supercars’ prestigious Barry Sheene Medal for the first time since 2008.
The most decorated driver in Supercars history, Whincup has been crowned the category’s best-and-fairest for the third time in his illustrious career.
The award, named after late motorsport icon Barry Sheene, is focused on off-track qualities like leadership, media interaction and personality rather than solely racing results.
The medal is the sport’s equivalent of an AFL Brownlow or a NRL Dally M award and is highly prized by the drivers – many seeing it as the highest individual accolade outside of a championship.
For a driver who has done more than most to promote Supercars, it is somewhat surprising the Red Bull Ampol legend has not won the medal since the year he won the first of his record-breaking seven championships.
Whincup now joins Scott McLaughlin as a three-time winner, with only Craig Lowndes (five) having taken out more.
Whincup is hoping to transition from driving to management on the perfect note by recording a fifth Bathurst 1000 win on Sunday.
He and co-driver Craig Lowndes will start from 11th after a disappointing qualifying session saw them miss the top-10 shootout.
Whincup sits second in this year’s championship standings, only behind champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen, with two race wins, three pole positions and 15 podium finishes.