No Supercars edge for Whincup despite NZ win

He's the six-time Supercars champion battling a young challenger but Jamie Whincup doesn't think his experience is an edge heading into this month's title-deciding season finale on the streets of Newcastle.

No Supercars edge for Whincup despite NZ win

No Supercars edge for Whincup despite NZ win

Whincup secured victory ahead of Ford's Scott McLaughlin in Sunday's 200km race at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand.

Not only did his win deliver him the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy - presented in honour of the popular New Zealand driver who died from cancer in 2011 for the highest points tally over the two races at the Auckland event - it ensures he's in the box seat for the final two races of the year.

Heading into the races on the new street circuit in Newcastle, the Red Bull Holden Racing Team star holds a slender 30-point championship lead over McLaughlin.

With the next closest rival being McLaughlin's DJR Team Penske stablemate Fabian Coulthard - whose fifth-place finish on Sunday leaves him 176 points adrift of the championship lead - the title race now looks like a two-way battle.

Whincup dismissed the idea his title-winning know-how puts him ahead of McLaughlin.

"If it was Scotty's first or second year, potentially, but no we've both been around for a while now," he said.

"I'm as hungry as I've ever been. It'll mean the world to me. We'll make sure we go there well prepared and do the best job we can."

McLaughlin says being in contention for a Supercars' title going into the final round of a championship is the realisation of a dream.

Whincup's lead gives the New Zealander a simple approach to take into Newcastle.

"At the end of the day, I've just got to beat him," McLaughlin said.

"We'll go there, be the chaser and enjoy it."

Ford's Cameron Waters came third on Sunday to continue his strong finish to the year but a first lap incident involving him and Prodrive Racing Australia teammates Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom marred his day.

Mostert being spun on the opening lap left him struggling to stay in the championship hunt, and while he recovered to finish seventh, he sits 264 points off the pace.

It means he and defending series champion Shane Van Gisbergen essentially need Whincup and McLaughlin to fail to score any points in Newcastle to have any hope of winning the title.

Van Gisbergen, who won Saturday's race to close within 159 points out of the title lead, is now 274 points off the pace after a costly mistake where he rear-ended Tim Slade's Holden coming into the pits.

While the New Zealander was able to get his damaged Commodore back into the race, his 24th-place finish effectively ends his title defence.

The inaugural Newcastle 500 will be held from November 24 to 26.

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