Holden eyes Supercars teams title upset

Eamonn Tiernan
Jamie Whincup (pic) and Shane van Gisbergen are eyeing an upset teams title win in Newcastle

Seven-time Supercars champion and Triple Eight star Jamie Whincup has made a sly dig at arch-rivals DJR Team Penske ahead of the season-ending Newcastle 500.

DJR Team Penske ace Scott McLaughlin has already won the drivers' championship, but Triple Eight are hot on his heels to pinch the teams' championship.

Ford duo McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard lead Holden pair Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen by 116 points leading into race one on Saturday in Newcastle.

There are 576 points up for grabs this weekend and the Holden boys look primed to clinch the teams' championship after setting the pace in Friday's practice sessions.

Whincup posted the quickest lap and van Gisbergen was third fastest, meaning they would have collected 69 points more than McLaughlin (fourth) and Coulthard (eighth) in race conditions.

If they repeat that effort on Saturday and Sunday, Triple Eight will take out the teams' championship.

DJR Team Penske have won 20 of 30 races this season but had invited Triple Eight back into the title race after copping a heavy sanction from the Bathurst 1000.

McLaughlin won his first Bathurst crown but the team was stripped 300 points for Coulthard deliberately slowing behind the safety car.

Whincup made the not-so-subtle comment on Friday after topping practice that if Triple Eight won the team title, it would be done "within the rules".

"We'll do absolutely everything we can this weekend, within the rules, to make sure we get there," Whincup said.

"It would mean a lot, for sure. We'd love the biggest trophy of the year, the drivers' championship, but that's unfortunately gone.

"The second-biggest trophy of the year is the team championship."

Triple Eight were well off the pace earlier this year in the teams' title and Whincup admitted he thought that were "absolutely no chance" early in the season.

But the veteran said they'd worked "bloody hard" to give themselves a chance.

"We're pretty proud to be in this position, in contention. We've clawed our way back and given ourselves a shot," Whincup said.

"If you said we'd be in contention after the grand prix this year, it would have been absolutely no chance.

"So full credit to everyone; we've grounded it out bloody hard to give ourselves a shot."

Cameron Waters was second fastest in practice, while David Reynolds completed the top five on the Newcastle beachfront track.