The Race of Champions returns for 2015 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium. The event, now in its 27th year will return to the United Kingdom for the first time since 2008. Last years champion of champions; David Coulthard was the first driver to visit the stadium. The event will take place on the 20 – 21 November.
The Race of Champions is an end of year event that sees the best drivers from various forms of Motorsport come together. Competitors from; Formula 1, MotoGP, Le Mans, IndyCar etc. will compete in individual events, as well as team events with another competitor from their native country to establish the winner of the Nation’s Cup.
The first event will be the Nation’s Cup which will occur on Friday 20th November. The driver pairs will compete in a variety of vehicles to determine the “World’s Fastest Nation”. The variety of vehicles is designed to ensure the competition is fair and shows off the best all around drivers and teams.
While in the afternoon of that Saturday, will be the Individual Competition. This will have the same knock out system that the Nation’s Cup did. As a result, no driver can afford to make a mistake as last years winner, Coulthard acknowledged.
“I’m proud yet slightly embarrassed to have won it last year. There are younger and more talented drivers who take part but that’s the nature of the knock-out system. You get a chance to compare your driving with a wide range of different drivers in a lot of different vehicles. Somebody has to win so it may as well be me.”
The former McLaren and Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver also represented the United Kingdom team in the Nation’s Cup, making it through to the final with team mate, Susie Wolff, the Williams Martini Racing test driver.
Coulthard said: “It’s fantastic that the Race Of Champions is coming to London. Each of the events has been special in its own way but with so much racing heritage in the UK and as a Brit myself, to host it here in an iconic venue like the former Olympic Stadium is a big deal. I’m sure it will be the best one so far.”
The last time the series came to London, Coulthard managed to finish as runner up to Sebastien Loeb, who beat him 2 races to 1 in the final.
“There seem to be some people who aren’t enjoying this Formula 1 season as much as previous years. If they want to rediscover the reason why they enjoy motor sport, they should come along to the Race Of Champions.” said Coulthard, “The stadium environment is what makes it special. You look down on the cars from the grandstands so it gives you a view you wouldn’t get in many venues. When it comes to getting so close to the action, the nearest thing would be Monaco in F1.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Our wonderful stadium is proving to be the perfect home for sports of every kind, and the Race Of Champions looks set to provide motor sport fans with a thrilling two days of racing. I am sure the stadium will be packed out with Londoners excited by the opportunity of seeing some of the world’s greatest racing drivers compete. ”
Meanwhile, ROC President Fredrik Johnsson commented, saying; “We are thrilled to be bringing the Race Of Champions back to London in such an iconic venue. In its short history this stadium has already staged some classic races. We all have our favourite moments from the 2012 London Olympics.”
“But to see – and hear – cars race there for the first time will rev the stakes even higher. One thing is for sure: ROC 2015 will be the fastest race the former Olympic Stadium has ever seen.”
In the 2014 Nations Cup, the award went the the Nordic Team of Tom Kristensen, the nine time Le Mans winner and Petter Solberg, the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion.