Australian V8 champ Jamie Whincup bitten by snake

SYDNEY (AP) Australian motor racing champion Jamie Whincup has been bitten by a snake at Sydney's Taronga Zoo during a pre-season photo shoot for the domestic V8 Supercars series.

Whincup, a six-time V8 champion, was being photographed with the series trophy and a non-venomous, one-meter black-headed python when the snake latched onto his hand. It took handlers about two minutes to force the snake to let go.

Whincup said ''It was pretty painful. 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.''

Whincup said water had to be poured over the snake to encourage it to relax its grip. He wasn't injured, saying ''I live to fight another day.''

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