Motorsport News - Rally
Solberg brothers take on elite at ROC
27th November 2007
World Rally Championship (WRC) brothers Petter and Henning Solberg have laid down the gauntlet to The Race of Champions competition after being announced as the newest team for the Wembley extravaganza next month.
Just eight points separate the ultra-competitive siblings, who are currently running fifth and sixth in the WRC respectively, but for The ROC Nations Cup they will be working together for national pride as Wembley Stadium is transformed into a tarmac circuit for a champion of champions decider.
The world’s best drivers, including seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, four-time Champ Car Champion Sébastien Bourdais and triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx, will be battling it out in identical machinery, competing individually and also for their countries in The ROC Nations Cup.
“Fantastic!,” said Petter, the 2003 World Rally Champion who currently drives for Subaru. “This is the first time Norway will be represented in The ROC Nations Cup and I think we will be a strong contender. I'm sure we will get the support of many Norwegian fans that will travel to Wembley.”
This will be the first time either of the Solberg brothers has raced in The Race of Champions. “It's a great honour to be invited and to represent Norway together with my brother,” said Henning, five-time Norwegian Rally Champion. “It’s going to be lots of fun.”
Having brothers in The Race of Champions is not a first. In 1998 Colin and Alister McRae both made the final, with Colin just taking the chequered flag.
“We are very happy to invite Petter and Henning to The Race of Champions and the ROC Nations Cup,” said Fredrik Johnsson, President of event organiser IMP. "This year most countries are represented by two racing drivers or one racing and one rally driver but Norway will be the exception with two very talented rally drivers known for their spectacular driving style!”
To book tickets for The Race of Champions, go to raceofchampions.com or call +44 161 385 69 25 for less than seven tickets, or +44 207 930 3000 for eight or more.
Notes to editors
The ROC was created in 1988 by Fredrik Johnsson and the world’s best woman rally driver Michèle Mouton.
The premise is simple: using identical equipment and track, drivers can prove themselves based on talent alone. The drivers compete in a series of knockout heats in their own division to determine their class champion. Then, in a shoot-out to determine who is the master of motorsport, the winners go head-to-head in a super final. The victor is awarded the title “The Champion of Champions”.
Drivers confirmed for 2007 include:
Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher
Formula One star Jenson Button
Triple World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx
Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel
Four-time Champ Car Champion & Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Bourdais
Seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen
Two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström
Two-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson
Eight-time X-Games winner & double Rally America Champion Travis Pastrana
Double World Rally Champion, Marcus Grönholm
Renault F1’s Heikki Kovalainen
1995 British Rally Champion Alister McRae
World Touring Car Championship star Yvan Muller
2003 World Rally Champion, Petter Solberg
Five-time Norwegian Rally Champion, Henning Solberg
This traditional end-of-season showdown attracts spectators from across Europe. For three years the event, held at the Stade de France in Paris, has attracted well over 50,000 spectators each year.
Action from the Race of Champions 2006 was broadcast in over 200 countries and watched by more than 186 million viewers.
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