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Bathurst is my favourite

Our Phillip Island victory was sweet, but I didn't get much of a chance to taste it.

Our enduro win at Philllip Island at the weekend was very satisfying, but in the end we only pegged back the championship gap from Jamie Whincup by six points.

There is now a 92-point gap and the championship is certainly in our sites, but for me the big prize is Bathurst next month. That's the golden egg, our grand final and it's globally recognised. Everyone wants to win at Mt Panorama.

We would have made more inroads on the championship at the weekend but for my disappointing sixth-place result on Saturday after qualifying second. Sunday was totally different. Everything went right for us and we had some great battles along the way with Garth Tander and our teammates.

My cap is off to my co-driver Mark Skaife. We get him out of the commentary box twice a year and put him in the mix of normal drivers and he is just sensational. The only problem is I'll never catch his total of wins while he's driving for us. He's not only fast, but also wise and mature.

Letting Jamie's co-driver Andrew Thomson pass him early in the race was a smart move. We had discussed this and decided we did not want to race early in the day, just stay out of trouble and let the attrition rate happen to others.

It's maturity and an understanding of the bigger picture that wins these endurance races. I think that's a lesson Shane van Gisbergen has learnt. He was catching us at a great rate of knots toward the end of the race, but he pushed too hard and must have blistered or delaminated his tyres.

Phillip island is a brutal track on tyres and the speed he was driving was just too much to sustain so he basically threw away second place. We also had an incident with him in warm-up that he's taken aim at me about, saying I push the young guys around. I don't know what he means by that. I try not to have contact and can't recall ever having contact with him before.

We were on a race simulation lap when he came out of the pits after the chequered flag. There was no time for him to get up to speed and he should have been told by his team that we were charging through behind him.

I made contact with his car and he decided he didn't like that so he gave us a hard hit that bent both our cars. I'm sure his team wasn't very happy with that. I'll put my hand up and confess to the first incident, but the second incident didn't need to happen. Anyway, I got over it and got on with the job. The stewards looked into it and didn't see any problems.

Shane is a very talented driver, but he still has a lot to learn, especially about long-distance races. If he's learnt his lesson, he'll be a formidable competitor at Bathurst.

Our Phillip Island victory was sweet, but I didn't get much of a chance to taste it. The boys had a big night on Sunday, but I went straight to the Broadford track for a ride day the next day, then flew back to Brisbane for a team debrief, then back on a plane and across the other side of the country to Perth to defend my title in the Australasian Safari which starts on Thursday.

We had our final Safari test at Mildura before last weekend's race and the two Holden Colorado utes performed perfectly. One change we have made this year is with co-drivers. Last year I had Kees Weel with me, but he's now co-driving for his son, Paul. My co-driver this time is John Panozzo.

He's navigated for Paul in the past and he's not unfamiliar with that role, so I'm confident in our ability to put in a good defence of my first Safari title.