Event to forget Supercars champ Whincup

Supercars fans witnessed an event in Adelaide that hadn't occurred for more than four years - Jamie Whincup failed to finish a race.

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team star was a massive 11 seconds in front of the field in Sunday's second and final 250km race in the South Australia capital and seemingly cruising to yet another win.

Then his brand new ZB Commodore's gearbox blew up, forcing the seven-time champion to quit a race early for the first time since the Gold Coast round in 2013 - a streak totalling 136 races.

Sunday's drama capped an underwhelming start to the year for Whincup, whose crew had to do a 12-hour overnight rebuild of his car on Friday after he hit a wall in qualifying.

The team managed to get him on track for Saturday's season opener where he finished sixth but the 35-year-old admitted it had been an event to forget.

"We were looking alright there, we had some pace on. Racing hard and it's not the end we wanted," Whincup told AAP.

"It's been a bloody tough weekend. I stuck it in the wall, we had a 4'amer Friday night and a 1'amer last night.

"That's the highs and lows of motorsport."

The champion was taking a philosophical approach to his disappointment, though, already aiming to bounce back at the second stop of the year - the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from March 22 to 25.

"It's early days, that's all you can do," he said.

"We showed some real pace today so yeah, we'll go away and see what we can do."