"I'm really happy to be staying with the family"

Jamie-and-Craig-b-(1).jpgRed Bull Racing Australia is thrilled to confirm that Jamie Whincup will be driving for the five-time V8 Supercars Championship winning team until at least the end of 2015.

The 31-year-old has five V8 Supercars Drivers Championships and four Bathurst 1000 wins to his name, all of which he has claimed with the Brisbane-based outfit.

Whincup heads into the 2014 season aiming to win his sixth title, which would make him the most successful touring car driver in Australian motorsport history.

"This contract extension will bring up ten years with Triple Eight Race Engineering," Whincup said.

"I'm really happy to be staying with the family. There have been some big changes that have happened over my time here naming rights sponsors, changing to Car of the Future and now changing engineer."

A restructure within Red Bull Racing Australia was announced last month, which sees Whincup's former engineer Mark Dutton take step up to Race Team Manager, while David Cauchi takes on the role of Race Engineer for the No.1 Holden Commodore.

"The category is in really good shape and is moving forward well, so I'm really excited to confirm that I'll continue to be a part of it for at least another couple of years," Whincup said.

The V8 Supercars Championship hits the track for the first event of the 2014 season this weekend in Adelaide for the Clipsal 500.

Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes took their pre-season training to tracks of a different kind yesterday morning with a mountain bike ride to the picturesque Mount Lofty Summit.

The ride marked the drivers final training session before they kick off their individual assaults on the 2014 V8 Supercars season at theClipsal 500 this weekend.

"We've got one of the best jobs in the world,"Whincup said.

"We get to spend Thursday morning training on mountain bikes and then jump in the car on Friday and race around a track all weekend."

Although the pair have varying degrees of experience on a mountain bike, they match each other in enthusiasm for the dirt tracks and keeping their fitness levels up in the off season.

"Fitness is a huge part of our sport, mostly running and road cycling for me, but Lowndes is right in to his mountain bike riding. He's been on to me for the last few months to get out in the Brisbane hills and after today I think I'm hooked,' Whincup said.

"Mountain biking is actually something I've done quite a lot of lately. My engineer, Jeromy Moore, is also right in to it so we use it to bond and it's a good way for us to communicate where the car is at while working on our fitness at the same time," Lowndes said.

The Red Bull Racing Australia drivers are known for their healthy on track rivalry and off-track friendship and it seems that training sessions fall somewhere in between.

"The track had some gnarly terrain and big jumps so Lowndesy and I were looking after each other to make sure none of us broke a bone. We're normally quite competitive but today we were looking out for each other," Whincup said.

"To ride around with Jamie is always entertaining. There's always a bit of competition between Jamie and I , we always try and out-do each other but it's a lot of fun."

Media release from RedBull Racing Australia