Triple Eight identifies ”funny” engine issue that ended Whincup’s race

Triple Eight Race Engineering driver Jamie Whincup found himself out of the Bathurst 1000 race due to an engine issue that team manager Mark Dutton described as ”funny”.

“We took the rocker cover off and [there was] not a broken rocker,” said Dutton to supercars.com.

“I’ll have a look, I actually asked [engine supplier KRE’s] Kenny McNamara just then and he said it was a broken valve, which is funny because usually the rocker breaks first and then the valve. Not too sure how that’s come about, especially because engine prep was perfect, they’re all fresh, nothing was close to mileage, drivers weren’t doing any over-revs. All the usual culprits just weren’t there.”

Whincup was involved in the top fight of the race when the issue occurred, dropping him to finish 20th and last of the classified cars.

”The car was quick and we were hanging in there, running in the top six or seven, just waiting for the end of the race,” said Whincup.

”Then it’s crazy how things change. One minute we’re fine, then boom – next minute, I heard something break in the engine, then it went off-tune. That was day over, I just knew it straight away. You battle for seven hours for something so simple to turn the day so quickly. It’s tough, it’s motorsport, but we know that when we engage in it, how fragile it can be and unfortunately, it’s been another tough day at the mountain.”

Team-mate Shane van Gisbergen was in trouble as well, making a mistake that sent him through the gravel, puncturing a tyre. The Kiwi fought his way back to finish fifth after the incident.

“We had a pretty good opportunity to win today,” said van Gisbergen.

“We were pretty happy with our race car today, we did a good job the last few days to make it good. At various stages we were competitive, then when we weren’t we still fought back from it, but I just made too many mistakes at the end there, misjudging the conditions, being the pioneer at the end. We threw it away.”