V8 cham­pion Whin­cup works at driv­ing safely

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL GOVER

WHEN you watch Jamie Whin­cup on the tele­vi­sion he looks like he’s driv­ing to the shops.

He might be wear­ing a hel­met and rat­tling around a race track at any­thing up to 290km/h, but he is 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 con- firmed 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 that his in-car ra­dio calls to the pits and the Seven com­men­ta­tors are hands-free and never dis­tract him from his ob­jec­tive of driv­ing.

‘‘It’s a bit of a myth that to drive fast you have to drive er­ratic,’’ he says,

‘‘ That is def­i­nitely not the case.’’

He em­pha­sises the ef­fort that goes into the job of driv­ing, whether it’s fight­ing for first on the track or en­sur­ing 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 is mak­ing sure that 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 that Whin­cup is just talk­ing about rac­ing, then you would be wrong.

‘‘Driv­ing on the track is no dif­fer­ent to driv­ing on the road,’’ Whin­cup said.

‘‘It is 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 is a timely re­minder from a driver who has re­set 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 and prac­tic­ing.

He makes driv­ing look so easy be­cause he works so hard. When his su­per­tal­ented 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 is just a tiny lit­tle thing that makes a trip to the shops a lit­tle safer to­day than it was yes­ter­day.

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