Your reigning V8 Supercars champion just signed on with the team for another contract, despite rampant speculation he might pursue options overseas due to his domination of the local field over the past seven years. It’s a big win for you, and a big win for the sport. So what do you do? You alert the media. You put your man front and centre. But that alone isn’t enough! No! Why stop there? Let’s have him hold the contract in the photo op too! And the Drivers Championship while he’s at it! Fuck it, let’s do the photo at Taronga Zoo and he can pose with a snake as well!

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG.

Red Bull Racing Australia managed to secure the signature of their gun driver Jamie Whincup for another season pounding Australian racing circuits, in what’s being considered something of a coup for the team and the sport.

To mark the occasion, the team publicity department brought Whincup to Taronga Zoo to show off the freshly inked contract, and Whincup’s silverware. And because this is totally the kind of thing that normal sports people do, they put one of the zoo’s snakes onto him to cap off the whole look.

Lucky @jamiewhincup doesn’t have a snake phobia. #redbullracingau #v8sc

A photo posted by Red Bull Racing Australia (@redbullracingau) on

Seems all well and good, right? Totally normal. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just a dude posing for media photos with a snake he’d met a mere few seconds earlier. That kind of thing happens to everyone everyday all the time always.

Whether the snake was a Craig Lowndes tragic from way back, or whether it was secretly a Ford fan, or whether it was… oh, I don’t know… AN ACTUAL SNAKE, the black-headed python decided to make its presence known and promptly bit the hand that wasn’t feeding it, clamping down on Whincup’s right hand, holding on for a reported three minutes before zookeepers could release Whincup from the snake’s kung-fu grip.

Bucket list stuff today, just got bitten by a snake ??

A photo posted by Jamie Whincup (@jamiewhincup) on

Fortunately this particular breed of python is not venomous, and though Whincup admitted “it was pretty painful,” his hand was fine after treatment.

I somewhat 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 realised 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.

Whincup’s contract takes him through to the end of the 2018 season. The snake returned to its enclosure, smug in the knowledge that even the quickest man in Australia was too slow for it.

Photo: Red Bell Racing Australia via Instagram.

via ABC News.