Whincup regrets NZ post-race criticism

Jamie Whincup was left frustrated by a safety car mix-up in race two of the Auckland SuperSprint.
Jamie Whincup was left frustrated by a safety car mix-up in race two of the Auckland SuperSprint.

Officials may sanction Jamie Whincup despite the Supercars star expressing regret over his scathing criticism of race stewards at the Auckland SuperSprint round.

The seven-time series champion has issued a statement admitting he was wrong to slam race officials following a safety car controversy in Sunday's 200km event in New Zealand after being issued a "please explain" by the governing body.

But governing body Confederation of Australian Motor Sport is still to decide whether to penalise Whincup for possible breaches of national competition rules due to his post-race comments.

Whincup sensationally questioned the race officials' professionalism after he was incorrectly identified as the race leader and picked up by the safety car on Sunday.

A frustrated Whincup passed the safety car without permission, resulting in a drive-through penalty before finishing a distant 16th.

"You've got people making decisions that are just cruising back, having a few glasses of red each night and rock up to the track and their brain's not with it," a livid Whincup said in a post-race TV interview.

"They're not operating at the same level at what the teams are operating at."

But Whincup backtracked on his comments with the threat of sanctions ahead of the next round - October's Bathurst 1000.

"Now that the heat of the battle has subsided, I've had a chance to reflect on Sunday's race," Whincup said in a statement.

"I without fail give 110 per cent in every race and that inevitably leads to passions running high.

"(But) I have asked myself today though, were my comments post-race helpful? The answer to that is no.

"I'm a big believer in helping people to do their jobs to the best of their ability and that's what I should have focused on instead of criticising.

"While I knew I wasn't the leader of the race, and despite my engineer confidently telling me over the radio to not get held up by the safety car, the lights in front of me were orange."

Whincup said as a role model it was important he showed respect to officials.

"Every athlete in any sport needs to follow the directions of the officials, whether they feel the correct decision was made or not," he said.

"I recognise I am a role model and so the critical point I want to make to all the kids watching is that passing the safety car and going against the officials' decision isn't how we should play.

"In hindsight I wish I made a smarter split-second decision."

Whincup is fifth in the drivers' standings, 868 points behind series leader Scott McLaughlin of Ford ahead of the key Bathurst 1000 round.

Australian Associated Press