Race of Champions coming to Bangkok

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As reported in the daily press, seven-times Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher will be in the line-up as the Race Of Champions (ROC) celebrates its 25th year of competition this year.  The ROC will be held at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, on the weekend of December 15-16.

Held every year since 1988, the end-of-season contest brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.  Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 15 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 16 December.

For the past five years Schumacher has joined up with The Finger (Sebastian Vettel) to take Team Germany to victory in the ROC Nations Cup.  Reigning F1 world champion Vettel has already announced he will be back and now Schumacher has confirmed that the winning duo will be reunited again.

Schumi and The Finger. Schumi and The Finger.

Schumacher said, “I have never raced in Thailand before so this will be an interesting addition to my motor sport travels.”

“Racing in a stadium is sensational – and it’s a very different experience for us drivers to hear the fans so close.  And of course we are all professionals so the moment we close the visor we want to win…”

After London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium (2009) and Dusseldorf’s ESPRIT arena (2010-2011), ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two adjacent lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium.

One of my northern readers expressed doubts that Thailand could get everything together on time, but the ROC is a packaged deal with its own organizing group that puts it together, something like the roadshows of the Rolling Stones where they come and erect huge stages and inflatables and after the event take it away again.  The event makes for great TV as you can see the side by side action.  If you haven’t seen one go to YouTube, I’m sure they must have some.  Schumi and The Finger have dominated the team’s events, but not the individual final (some rally chap did it last year from memory).  The cars are supplied by the organizers and include a buggy contraption, a KTM X-Bow, and a V8 sedan.  As I said, it is the complete package.  All the host country has to do is supply a venue, so Rajamangala it is!