- Race of Champions
The Race of Champions is an international
motorsportevent held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. It is the only competition in the world where stars from Formula 1, Rallying, NASCAR, Le Mans and Touring Cars compete against each other, going head-to-head in identical cars.
The race was first organised in
1988by former rally driver Michèle Moutonand Fredrik Johnsson, the IMP (International Media Productions) President. Originally it featured the world's best rally drivers, but has since expanded to include top competitors from most of the world's premier motorsport disciplines, including motorbike racing.
The top individual overall in The Race of Champions is given the title, "Champion of Champions" and receives the
Henri ToivonenMemorial trophy, but within the event there is also a competition for individual countries.
The "ROC Nations Cup" was added in
1999. In this event, teams compete in pairs or trios for their country in a head-to-head, best-of-three knockout event.
The event has taken place in several venues, but most recently has been held in major sporting stadiums. After three years based at the
Stade de Francein Paris, the event moved to the new Wembley Stadiumin Londonin 2007. Wembley has been confirmed as the host for the 2008 event, which will take place on Sunday December 14th 2008. After feedback from fans following the 2007 event, organisers have reduced ticket prices for this year.
The format changes slightly from year to year but in the 2007 event the participating drivers were grouped into eight two-person teams based on their nationality.
Prior to The Race of Champions itself these eight teams compete in 'The ROC Nations Cup' where a team advances by going head-to-head with another country's team and winning two races out of three. The advancing team then goes through the semi-finals and super-finals, by which time only two teams remain.
In the main event - 'The Race of Champions' itself - the individuals compete head-to-head in one race around the track, with the winner advancing and the loser getting knocked out. Similar to the national race, the drivers are gradually eliminated until two reach the super-final.
In both The ROC Nations Cup and The Race of Champions the super-final consists of three runs. The team or driver that achieves two victories first wins.
The cars used in The Race of Champions are mandated by the race organisation and vary from year to year. Prior to each run, a type of car is assigned to both of the drivers, with each machine being identical in every respect. Over the course of the event, each driver may get to drive several different cars.
As of 2007, there were 5 cars selected. These ranged from a ROC specific
dune buggy, a high power sports car, a World Rally Car, a large touring car (with 3.5 litre engine) and a Super 2000specification saloon. The actual cars used varies, but generally fall into one of the five categories above.
The 2008 Race Of Champions event will take place at
Wembley Stadium, London on the 14th December 2008. The following drivers have confirmed their participation in the event:
Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel
Autosport Team Great Britain:
Jenson Button, Andy Priaulx
Mark Webber, Troy Bayliss
Tom Kristensen, Mattias Ekstrom
The 2007 Race Of Champions took place on 16th December at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
The ROC Nations' Cup took place at the start of the afternoon and was won by
The individual event followed and the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy was won by
Mattias Ekströmof Sweden, beating Michael Schumacherof Germanyin the final.
The confirmed lineup was:
The 2004 event took place on
December 6at the Stade de Francein Saint-Denis.
The individual event was won by
Heikki Kovalainen, and the team event by Jean Alesiand Sébastien Loebrepresenting France.
There was also a special "World Champions Challenge" race held between
2004 Formula OneWorld Champion Michael Schumacherand 2004World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb, which Schumacher won.
Drivers that took part are:
*- Casey Mears was a last-minute substitute for Jeff Gordon, who was hospitalized with the flu and told not to participate in this event by doctors while at NASCAR's awards banquet in New York City that week.
Race of Champions (Brands Hatch)
International Race of Champions
* [http://www.raceofchampions.com Official Website]
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