Heading to the race meeting with a slender 30-point championship lead over Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin, Whincup notes that the new circuit contains plenty of places that could trip up his quest for a seventh title.
“The track looks fantastic. There’s been so much consideration for the drivers on making this place really good, not only as an event but a good race track with plenty of passing opportunities,” said Whincup.
“The elevation has surprised me, that run up into Turn 2, you gain a lot of altitude and then hook back down the other side.
“It’s going to be a nightmare to get right, believe it or not, it’s going to be really difficult to work out what the right lines are and how to set the car up, but that’s all part of the fun I guess.
“There are plenty of spots on the circuit that could trip people up, without doubt,” he added.
“There are a lot of braking zones that are turning and with our cars, braking while turning is quite difficult.
“And then the terrain. In braking zones that drop away, it’s going to be really hard work, the drivers will have to be on their game the whole way around for 250km.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge for everyone.”