In late January, Whincup was one of four drivers selected to represent the category in a six-day promotional tour at Abu Dhabi-based track. The trip included laps of the circuit in road cars and a Porsche race car, a ride in a two-seat Formula 1 car, wakeboarding and other ‘tourist' activities.
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Other drivers included Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and Paul Dumbrell.
But the big advantage was the laps of the circuit, and Whincup says that the 20 laps he did is a huge plus.
“I was a lucky one of four to have experienced the circuit a few weeks ago,” he told Speedcafe.com.au.
“The big upside is that we got to see the circuit and do 20 laps in a road car. From a driver's perspective, it's a very technical track. Nothing is ever going to compare to Bathurst, but it's second in line to Bathurst in terms of technicalities.
“It's got everything – long straights, tight corners and 200km around there, in the dark, is going to be a long, long tough effort.
“It is clearly one of the richest tracks in the world. It's an absolute picture. For anyone who doesn't know the track, it goes through a five star hotel, situated around a marina, which stores 120 foot sailing boats. It's an unbelievable facility.”
Whincup said that having a ride in the Formula 1 two-seater was a memorable experience.
“That was just an amazing experience. I think they only charge $5000 AUD for two laps. For me, I reckon that's unbelievably cheap value – it's one of the best experiences I've ever had. The braking and the corner g-forces is just unbelievable,” he said.
“The big question is whether us, as drivers, get more out of the ride than say a person without racing experience. That's a tough one, but I think we actually do get a bit more out of it. (Sportscar driver) Jamie Walter-Campbell drove me around, and he had a few little moments, and that was the best part of the ride for me. Knowing what a race car can and can't do makes a ride like that even more exhilarating.”
The 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series kicks off on Thursday at Yas Marina.