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'Very slow' Whincup in Supercars strife

Just a week ago, Jamie Whincup sat second in the Supercars championship.

The seven-time champion was Scott McLaughlin's closest title opponent before the Symmons Plains meet, sitting 31 points behind the DJR Team Penske ace.

Three races later, that gap is 10 times worse, and that's no exaggeration.

After yet another disastrous day out, this time on Phillip Island, Whincup sits a whopping 310 points behind Whincup, and seventh in the standings.

"I can't remember a car with so little grip. I'd have to go back 15 years, I reckon," Whincup said on Saturday.

"The car is very, very slow - just no performance. What do you do? You've just got to keep working."

Whincup's woes began last Saturday, causing a red flag in qualifying before surfing out of the race complaining of gearshift issues to finish last.

A fifth-placed finish on Sunday didn't help Whincup, given his title rivals finished above him.

Arriving on Phillip Island, Whincup blamed poor grip and started 17th after stinking up qualifying.

He took off without a front right wheel attached, lasting just a few turns before it rolled down the hill and ended his race.

"There's not much more I can add," he said.

"We were poor out there.

"Unfortunately, we made a little error in the pits. But we win and lose as a team. We'll fight back tomorrow."

Making matters worse, Whincup was docked $500 for a speeding infringement in pit lane, and he might suffer further as stewards decide how to punish him for his loose tyre - a clear safety breach.

McLaughlin's seventh win in nine races makes the Kiwi a runaway championship leader.

The only man within 200 points is his teammate Fabian Coulthard, with David Reynolds the best Holden in third, and Shane van Gisbergen in fourth.