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Whincup gets his chance in Race of Champions

By Peter McKay, 28 Sep 2009 Motorsport

Whincup gets his chance in Race of Champions

Replacing the injured Felipe Massa, Jamie to line up against Schumacher, Hirvonen and Button.

The cancellation of the '09 Bahrain round of the V8 Supercar Championship means that Jamie Whincup can now drive at Race of Champions (RoC) meeting in Beijing from November 2-4.

This allows Whincup to get back to Oz in time for the championship race which replaces Bahrain - The Island 300 - on November 7-8.

He is one of 16 drivers from a variety of motorsport disciplines, who will participate in the annual star-studded event, which this year will be held at The Bird's Nest Olympic stadium.

His rivals are famous names in motor sport, including Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Mikko Hirvonen, plus other leading touring car stars, NASCAR drivers and more.

The 26-year-old defending V8 supercar champion will compete in several different machines across the duration of the meeting, but none remotely similar to his racing Vodafone Ford Falcon. The catalogue of cars will include Ford Focus WRC, KTM X-Bow (the bike maker's first-ever car), Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, RoC custom car and RX 150.

Whincup will be the just the second four-wheel star from Australia to take part in the RoC in its 21-year history. Neal Bates finished a handy third in the 1997 International Race of Champions.

"It's going to be an awesome event,"; declared the Gold Coaster. "I will get to race some amazing cars against the likes of (Michael) Schumacher and (Jenson) Button which is incredibly exciting".

"It will be great to mix it with these guys and find out what makes them tick.

Drivers will race on identical custom-created tracks built within the stadium. A knockout-style format will see them progress through various divisions before two finalists go head-to-head in the 'super final'.