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F1 world champion Vettel returns to ROC in Bangkok

11/06/2012 09:00:00

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  • Reigning Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is the first driver confirmed for the 2012 Race Of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Vettel will make his sixth straight appearance as he looks to extend Team Germany’s winning streak in the ROC Nations Cup
  • The date for the 25th Race Of Champions has now been finalised as the weekend of December 15-16, 2012

      Reigning Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has become the first driver to sign up as the Race Of Champions celebrates its 25th year of competition in 2012. ROC organisers can now also confirm that Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium will host the prestigious event 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 major 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 Vettel has joined up with Michael Schumacher to take Team Germany to victory in the ROC Nations Cup. Now Vettel is back for more – aiming to add the individual Race Of Champions crown to his 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 world championships and his growing ROC roll of honour.

      Vettel said: “I’ve never been to Thailand before so I’m very much looking forward to having the Race Of Champions in Bangkok. I think it’s a great venue and hopefully there will be plenty of people supporting us and cheering for us when we are racing.

      “I’ve been part of the Race Of Champions for quite a few years now and I really like it. Every year the atmosphere between the drivers is different to when we meet each other at the racetrack. It’s more relaxed, we enjoy ourselves in the evenings and we usually we have a very good time there.

      “Together with Michael, we’ve been very successful for Team Germany in the ROC Nations Cup. So that’s still the most important event for us. But it would be great to get through to the final of the main Race Of Champions at last and win that too…”

      The Race Of Champions brings together stars from all over the world. The 2011 field featured a total of 10 Formula 1 world championships courtesy of Vettel, Schumacher and Jenson Button. The line-up also included greats from Le Mans (Tom Kristensen), touring cars (Andy Priaulx) and the X-Games (Travis Pastrana) plus a host of other motor sport legends.

      ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round the Rajamangala Stadium. Built in time for the 1998 Asian Games, the stadium has since hosted Thailand’s home football matches plus the Asian Cup in 2007. With a capacity of 50,000, the venue also stages athletics, pop concerts and even political rallies.

      Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson said: “We’re delighted to have Sebastian back as we head to Bangkok on December 15-16. We pride ourselves on the driving greats we attract and there is no better place to start than the reigning F1 world champion. No doubt he will be a big draw for the crowds from Thailand and around the world.”

      Information about tickets and media accreditation will be released later in the year. For further details and hi-res imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.


      The full driver line-up for the 2011 Race Of Champions was:

      • Sebastian VETTEL, 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 World Champion
      • Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
      • Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion
      • David COULTHARD, 13 Formula 1 grand prix victories
      • Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
      • Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
      • Sébastien OGIER, winner of five WRC rallies in 2011
      • Romain GROSJEAN, driver for Lotus F1 team and 2011 GP2 Series Champion
      • Vitaly PETROV, driver for Caterham F1 team
      • Timo GLOCK, driver for Marussia F1 team
      • Mattias EKSTROM, double DTM champion and triple ROC Champion of Champions
      • Timo SCHEIDER, double DTM Champion
      • Martin TOMCZYK, 2011 DTM Champion
      • Juho HÄNNINEN, 2011 S-WRC Champion and 2010 IRC Champion
      • Jan KOPECKÝ, three-time Intercontinental Rally Challenge runner-up
      • Filipe ALBUQUERQUE, DTM star and 2010 ROC Champion of Champions
      • Brian DEEGAN, 13 X-games medals including Rally Cross gold in 2011
      • Travis PASTRANA, four-time Rally America winner and X-Games legend
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