Johnson praises V8 champion Whincup

Jamie Whincup might have eclipsed his record of championship wins but V8 Supercars great Dick Johnson says it is impossible to compare their driving records.

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Five-time champ Johnson declared Whincup deserved to pass his record with a sixth title but was happy to serve up a ‘back in my day’-style defence of his own formidable driving success.

Johnson said comparing his record of Touring Car success with the V8 Supercars era was like apples and oranges.

“It’s not what you do but how you do it,” he said.

“We did things a lot differently.

“I used to build the engines, build the gearboxes and diffs and drive the truck.

“It’d be interesting to see if we had the same criteria today, wouldn’t it?”

The well-loved Ford legend was happy to pay tribute to Whincup’s achievements, saying he’d done an exceptional job.

Whincup will be pitted against returning NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose next season, who will compete in a rebranded Dick Johnson-led team.

Despite Ambrose’s return, Johnson seemed to agree that Whincup’s domination of the sport would continue.

Johnson suggested he (Whincup) would continue to win races, and titles, when asked if he could be stopped next season.

“That’s up to him,” he said.

“Does he want to continue or does he want to challenge himself further in something else?”

Johnson’s fellow Ford man and beaten title contender Mark Winterbottom reflected on a tough year.

“It’s disappointing as this was the best start we’ve ever had,” he said.

“We’ve had good cars and our team deserves credit for how we started the year.

“It’s a tough championship and we fell away … you’ve got to be good for 12 months and we weren’t.”

It’s not all negative for Winterbottom and the Ford Performance Racing team.

“When there’s a Triple Eight car first and a Triple Eight car third … (and you’re second) you know you’re doing a good job.”

“We know we can beat them, but they’re very good.”