The 2022 Race of Champions in Sweden will be the first of its kind. This years event will be the first to take place on snow and ice. It seems that this was too good an opportunity to miss for 11 times X-Games Gold Medalist Travis Pastrana, as the American has confirmed he will take part in this year’s event.
Travis has become somewhat of a regular at the Race of Champions as this will be his ninth time competing in the competition. Pastrana himself has quite the resumè that would suggest that he has every possibility to better his best results of Semi-Finals loser in the individual competition and runner-up in the Nation’s Cup. Anything with wheels and an engine is where Travis Pastrana excels; he is a 4× Rally America Champion, an AMA Supercross & Motorcross Champion, a regular competitor in the Global Rallycross series and a winner at the X-Games on two and four wheels. As well as this, he has competed in Sports Car Racing and various divisions of Nascar over the years.
This makes him perfectly suited to the Race of Champions format as the series is competed in a variety of machinery from Buggies to Stadium Trucks. The races are run head to head and traditionally have been fought in Stadium Arenas on circuits that will favour Pastrana’s Rallycross credentials. So, Pastrana is confident that he can go into the contest as a favourite:
“Race Of Champions is such a prestigious and unique event. It’s an honor to be able to compete against so many icons and legends from all disciplines of racing. I don’t know who my teammate on Team USA will be yet. It would be nice to team up for example with Nascar Champion Jimmie Johnson again and try to do even better than we did at Wembley Stadium in England! But whoever my teammate is we will aim to win it all.”
However, this year’s event offers new challenges as it will be the first of its kind to feature Snow and Ice. The hosts are Sweeden and the circuit will be built on the frozen Baltic Sea at Pite Havsbad, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. The circuit will be wider and faster than what has come before on the Race of Champions. This may see Pastrana at a disadvantage to his fellow competitors who have vastly greater experience on this type of surface. Already announced to take part are 9-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen, and FIA World Rally and Rallycross stars Johan Kristoffersson, Petter Solberg and Oliver Solberg.
Snow and ice aren’t the only things that are new about this year’s Race of Champions. The event will feature electric Race Vehicles and equipment using 100% fossil-free biofuel. One of the Cars already confirmed to be used during the event is the FIA RX2e, an electric rallycross car generating 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510 Nm torque. All of these changes are in the aim of making Race of Champions a Carbon-Neutral event.
Pastrana will be relishing the challenge as he does with everything he competes in. Time will tell who else will be joining him in early 2022 and what they will be driving. For now, it is important to remember Pastrana’s motivation in his own words:
“I’m not crazy, just very competitive.”
Fans will be hoping to see that he is true to his word when he takes to the tack at Pite Havsbad.