Jamie “J-Dub” Whincup is either not a math person or he simply tunes out when he hears numbers because in his own words, he’s ‘not a stats man’ which is rather amusing considering the sport he lives and breathes is all about numbers.
And despite holding the record for the most amount of pole positions at Phillip Island, and as such a higher probability of it happening again, J-Dub is more concerned about the fact they used to acquire a stuffed toy on the podium.
“I didn’t realise this (his record). As I always say about stats, unfortunately it doesn’t guarantee anything this time around,” said J-Dub.
“I like Phillip Island win, lose or draw, especially the days when we used to win a stuffed penguin for making the podium.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the penguin wasn’t real.”
The track, though, is one that J-Dub knows like the back of his hand with 31 races since his debut at the Island in 2003.
“The track is a traditional fast-flowing super smooth motorcycle circuit – it will provide another great test for the new Commodore aero package,” J-Dub continued.
“The biggest challenge here is getting the most grip out of the car for those long, loaded corners and staying warm.”
Last year, the tyre blowouts were the talking point of the weekend with several teams pushing the limits on the new 2017 Dunlop super-soft tyres.
“Now we are back to a more idiot-proof tyre, you will see most of this non-existent this time around,” said J-Dub.
“For the record, I preferred last year’s tyre and hope we can further develop a more modern-day tyre that works for us.”
For a man with a 94% finishing record at the track, there’s little in the way of J-Dub completing a lap perfectly so what doesn’t he do so well here?
“MG is the corner I like the least. There is nothing wrong with the corner, I am just slow here,” said J-Dub.
“The best part of the track for me is Lukey Heights; it’s such a challenging corner that is hard to consistently get right.”
With 4.45 kilometres of high-speed, a cold climate and temperamental wind conditions, Phillip Island is going to be a tough one to nut out, but those who do will be well rewarded.