AMA Motocross champion Chad Reed is to take part in the Race of Champions after stepping into Jamie Whincup's vacant 'Team Australia' spot.
Australian V8 Supercar champion Whincup was due to pair up with motorcycling legend Mick Doohan at the annual event, to be held in China this year, but has withdrawn to enable him to focus on the defence of his V8 crown.
As such, Reed, an Australian Super X champion, has been called up at the last minute, forming a motorcycling line-up for the Australian team ahead of the four-wheel event.
“I'm more than happy to step in for Jamie who made the decision to remove himself from the event after a very tough weekend,” he said. “Motorsport can bring you the highest of highs but the lows are crushing – I've been in that position myself and I know what he is going through.
“We've been friends for a few years now and thankfully l was the position to be able to step in for him. I love nothing more than flying the Aussie flag and I am really looking forward to teaming up with Mick (Doohan). The only condition I made was that Jamie give his all to win the 2009 title.
The Race of Champions has grown to become one of the highlights of the motorsport calendar, with this year's event attracting the likes of Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Marcus Gronholm.
Beijing's distinctive 'Bird's Nest' Olympic stadium will host the event for the first time between November 2nd – 4th.