Reigning V8 Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup has inked a three-year contract extension with Triple 8 Racing; he will race with the team until the end of the 2018 season.

The 31-year-old – winner of six of the last seven championship titles – will line up on the grid for his tenth season with the squad.

There had been some speculation – after he announced just a one-year contract extension ahead of the preceding 2014 season – that he may head overseas for new challenges in different categories.

“I’m obviously very excited to renew my contract with Triple Eight,” he said. “The decision firstly came from the strength of the V8 Supercars category; I think there are some exciting times ahead, especially coming into the phase with the new television deal and later the new generation cars.

“I can see a really strong future for the series.”

“We’re extremely happy that Jamie is staying with Triple Eight for the foreseeable future,” team principal Roland Dane added.

“Though he has nothing to prove with us, he continues to push the boundaries with the utmost professionalism, which is exactly the mentality and approach of Triple Eight.”

The day wasn’t all plain sailing for Whincup, however. At a media appearance at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo today, the championship-winner was bitten by a snake on his right hand during one of the event’s photo shoots.

The wound came from a one-metre – and thankfully non-venomous – Black-headed Python, which sunk its fangs just below his index finger.

“It was pretty painful!” he admitted afterwards. “We pushed the friendship a little bit. We decided to have the snake round the championship trophy and we moved around a few times and it wanted to get out of there.

“I somewhat knew it could happen to be honest. It was getting a bit rowdy and then it had a go.”

Whincup will once again partner the field’s most experienced driver, Craig Lowndes, whose own contract runs out at the end of the current season.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down with Craig very soon to discuss 2016 and beyond with him,” Dane said of the 40-year-old.

Image via V8 Supercars

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Geoff Burke

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