Team Germany retained their title in The Race Of Champions Nations Cup at Wembley Stadium yesterday.
The reunited pairing of seven-time F1 champion, Michael Schumacher, and F1’s youngest ever race winner, Sebastian Vettel, never looked troubled as they powered undefeated through the heat events before beating Team Scandinavia in the final. The Race Of Champions, which brings together the best stars of motorsport from around the world, descended on Wembley Stadium for the second year, bringing its purpose-built tarmac race track and selection of high-performance cars to transform the football pitch to an adrenalin- fuelled amphitheatre. Taking the fight to the victorious German duo was the Team Scandinavia pairing of Le Mans 24 hour winner, Tom Kristensen and former German touring car (DTM) champion, Mattias Ekstrom.
With the narrow and technical circuit suffering from overnight rain, spectators were treated some of the best machine control as the fiercely competitive drivers pushed a selection of race cars through their paces. With the host nation allowed to field two teams, the UK’s star-studded offerings of Team F1 Great Britain, with David Coulthard and Jenson Button, and Team Autosport Great Britain, with three-time World Touring car champion (WTCC), Andy Priaulx, and British Touring Car (BTCC) ace, Jason Plato, lasted as long as the semi finals. Mattias Ektsrom, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Tom Kristenson Other teams this year included Team France, fronted by five-time World Rally champion (WRC) Sebastien Loeb and Team All Stars, led by three- time Superbike World champion, Troy Bayliss.
The Race of Champions this year included many exhibitions and demo runs, including Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren Mercedes F1 car and Andy Priaulx in his triple World Touring Car Championship-winning BMW. Hamilton, the youngest ever F1 World Champion, was scheduled to face off against Beijing Olympic cycling hero Chris Hoy, on his racing bike, in a unique Man vs Machine challenge.
However, the challenge was called off after concerns about the slippery surface of the track. “When I tried out the track on Wednesday, conditions were perfect,” explained Hoy. “But, thanks to the heavy rain yesterday, and the oil dropped on the track earlier today, I feel the track is too slippery for me to compete, despite the very best efforts of the ROC organisers.” The Race of Champions gets underway at 5.30pm.