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2006 Paris

Results

ROC winnerMattias Ekström
ROC finalistSébastien Loeb
ROC semi-finalistsColin McRae, Sébastien Bourdais
ROC Nations Cup winnersTeam Finland (Marcus Grönholm/Heikki Kovalainen)
ROC Nations Cup finalists Team USA (Travis Pastrana)

overview

Mattias Ekström silenced the Parisian crowd at the Stade de France with a surprise win over home star Sébastien Loeb in The 2006 Race Of Champions. The Swede even twisted the knife by defeating the Frenchman in one heat in identical Citroën Xsara WRCs, the car that had taken Loeb to his third straight world rally crown.

Ekström’s other victims included Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen, who lost out by only two thousandths of a second, and Sébastien Bourdais. Loeb reached the Super-Final after defeating former World Rally Champ Colin McRae in the Rally Drivers final.

Kovalainen had something to celebrate nonetheless as he and former World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm clinched the ROC Nations Cup for Finland together at the third attempt.

But the class of the field was Team USA’s Travis Pastrana, who brought the crowd to its feet by making it to the final single-handed after last-minute injuries suffered by his planned team-mates Jimmie Johnson and then his replacement Scott Speed. NASCAR champion Johnson was in the grandstands with his arm in plaster, cheering on Pastrana as he managed to beat Grönholm in one heat of the final before eventually succumbing to Kovalainen.


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