Six-time V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup was bitten by a snake during a promotional event to announce his contract extension with the Triple Eight-run Red Bull Racing team on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old was posing for photos with a non-venomous black-headed python at Taronga Zoo in Sydney when the reptile clamped down on his right hand. It reportedly took helpers almost three minutes to release the snake’s grip, leaving Whincup with minor puncture wounds.
“It was pretty painful,” said Whincup. “I somehow knew it could happen, to be honest. It was getting a bit rowdy, and then it had a go.
“I thought it would have released a little bit earlier when it realized I wasn’t a rat, but it stayed on until we poured some water over it to get it off. Apparently the teeth go backward, so it’s hard for it to release. We had to push it in harder to get it off. But I live to fight another day.”
Whincup’s new contract will keep him at Red Bull until the end of 2018.