First Australian team confirmed for end-of-season spectacularWebber becomes third current F1 star to be announced
Bayliss and Webber will become the first all-Australian team to enter The Race of Champions
The Race of Champions will feature an all-Australian team for the first time when the spectacular event returns to Wembley Stadium on December 14, with Ducati’s Double Superbike World Champion, Troy Bayliss, partnering Red Bull Racing F1 driver, Mark Webber.
The ‘Duo from Down Under’ will go head-to-head with competitors from the world of Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans and motorbike racing, as they battle in identical cars on a specially-built circuit inside Wembley Stadium. Names already confirmed include seven-times F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher, and triple World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx.
Bayliss last entered The Race of Champions when the event took place in Gran Canaria in 2001, when he was part of an All-Star team that reached the finals of The ROC Nations Cup. This will be the first time a Team Australia has been entered, however, and Webber is relishing the challenge.
"I've been watching The Race of Champions for the last few years and have always been really keen to do it, as the concept looks great,” said Webber. “This year I can, so flying the flag for Australia will be loads of fun - especially with a two wheel legend in Troy as my team-mate. I'm sure there will be some laughs on the night for both of us!"
Bayliss, who currently leads the Superbike World Championship as it heads to Brands Hatch this weekend, is also looking forward to the chance to fight for his country.
“I am really excited to be part of the Australian team alongside Mark Webber this year at The Race of Champions,” said Bayliss. “It’s the first time there has been an Aussie contingent so we will be looking forward to having a good time there.”
Bayliss isn’t the only bike racer to have tackled the event before – MotoGP stars Valentino Rossi and James Toseland have both competed in the past, while Motocross ace and eight-times X Games Champion Travis Pastrana has fought against – and beaten - many stars from the world of four-wheel racing over the past three years.
Tickets for the event are on sale now by calling 0844 412 1743, or online at raceofchampions.com. Adult prices start at £18 with child tickets half as much at £9.
The Race of Champions was started in 1988 by Fredrik Johnsson and Michèle Mouton, the world’s most successful female rally driver.
The Race Of Champions event on December 14 will be made up of two separate competitions – The ROC Nations Cup and The Race of Champions.
Each competition pits drivers against each other in a head-to-head knockout format, with equal equipment ensuring races are won and lost on talent alone.
The ROC Nations Cup features drivers paired into teams based on their nationality. The teams then fight head-to-head against each other in knockout competition. Last year Team Germany (Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel) beat Team Finland (Marcus Grönholm and Heikki Kovalainen) in the final.
The Race Of Champions is a straightforward knockout competition, where 16 drivers go head-to-head until the champion is decided. In last year’s Final, Mattias Ekström beat Michael Schumacher in the third race of a best-of-three battle.
Already confirmed for The Race of Champions 2008 are:
• Seven-times F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher (Team Germany)• Triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx (Team Autosport Great Britain)• Double Superbike World Champion Troy Bayliss (Team Australia)• Honda Racing F1 Team race winner Jenson Button (Team Autosport Great Britain)• Red Bull Racing F1’s Mark Webber (Team Australia)• Toro Rosso F1 racer Sebastian Vettel (Team Germany)