Talk­ing shop with Jamie

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­

WHEN you watch Jamie Whin­cup on the tele­vi­sion he looks as if he’s driv­ing to the shops. He might be wear­ing a hel­met and rat­tling along at any­thing up to 290km/h but he’s sit­ting calm and re­laxed.

Noth­ing takes him by sur­prise and he al­ways seems to know what’s go­ing to hap­pen be­fore it hap­pens.

Be­cause of that, not be­cause he is about to be con­firmed as a four-time V8 Su­per­car cham­pion and the best of his gen­er­a­tion, Whin­cup is a great ex­am­ple to all of us.

He even en­sures his in-car ra­dio calls to the pits and the Seven com­men­ta­tors are hands-free and never dis­tract him from his driv­ing.

‘‘ It’s a bit of a myth that to drive fast you have to drive er­ratic. That’s def­i­nitely not the case,’’ Whin­cup tells Cars­guide.

He em­pha­sises the ef­fort that goes into the job of driv­ing, whether it’s fight­ing for first on the track or work­ing on a nice life on the road.

‘‘ A lot of my study, and I sup­pose the art form of what I do, is mak­ing the car work for what I want it to do. That’s mak­ing sure I have the weight on the front wheels when I want to turn, the back wheels when I want to ac­cel­er­ate, and the right side of the car for cor­ner­ing.’’

If you think he’s just talk­ing about rac­ing, you’re wrong.

‘‘ Driv­ing on the track is no dif­fer­ent to driv­ing on the road. It’s im­por­tant to keep the in­puts as smooth as pos­si­ble. That’s ev­ery­thing: the steer­ing, the brakes, and the ac­cel­er­a­tor.’’

What Whin­cup says is not new but it’s a timely re­minder from a driver who has raised the stan­dard in V8 Su­per­car rac­ing and also knows he is a role model to peo­ple across the coun­try.

‘‘ I can tell straight away when I get into a car with a bad driver,’’ Whin­cup says bluntly.

‘‘ A good driver on the road will never have to slam the brakes on or take eva­sive ac­tion un­less some­one else does some­thing un­ex­pected or dumb. They should be pro­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion well be­fore it hap­pens.’’

For Whin­cup, who ef­fec­tively wrapped up the V8 Su­per­car se­ries last week­end at Win­ton, noth­ing is ever good enough. Just like his role model, tennis cham­pion Roger Fed­erer, he’s al­ways think­ing and learn­ing.

He makes driv­ing look so easy be­cause he works so hard. When his su­per-tal­ented team­mate Craig Lown­des fin­ishes at 6pm, Whin­cup will work un­til mid­night if he thinks he can find some­thing ex­tra.

We can all learn some­thing from Whin­cup, even if it’s just a tiny lit­tle thing that makes a trip to the shops a lit­tle safer to­day than it was yes­ter­day.

It looks so easy: V8 Su­per­car champ Jamie Whin­cup is an ex­am­ple on the road and track alike

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