Mon 14 September 2009
The most successful endurance car racer of all time, Tom Kristensen, has added his name to the stellar cast being assembled for The Race of Champions 2008, which already includes the all-time best of the best from the FIA Formula 1, World Rally and World Touring Car Championships.
The eight-times Le Mans 24-Hour winner will join the seven-times F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher, four-times World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb and three-times World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx at Wembley on Sunday December 14 to compete for the coveted 'Champion of Champions' title.
Kristensen, who finished as runner-up to Sébastien Loeb in the 2005 Race of Champions, will team up with fellow Audi DTM racer Mattias Ekström – himself twice a winner of both The Race of Champions and the DTM series.
“The Race of Champions is always a lot of fun,” said Kristensen, who this year won the Le Mans 24 Hours for a record eighth time, at the wheel of an Audi R10 TDI. “Racing around a stadium like Wembley in front of a packed crowd is completely different to racing in the DTM or at Le Mans - it’s a great atmosphere and a fantastic way to end the season.”
After winning The Race of Champions for the past two years (beating Sébastien Loeb in the 2006 final and Michael Schumacher in the 2007 final), Ekström knows the pressure will be on as he aims to become the first driver to be crowned “Champion of Champions” three years in a row.
“It looks like this year could be the toughest yet,” said the Swede. “There have already been some great names to be announced, but I’m a racer – I like having the title of ‘Champion of Champions’, and there’s no way I’ll give it up without a fight!”
Ekström beat Michael Schumacher in last year’s Race of Champions Final.
Fredrik Johnsson, President of Event Organisers IMP, was delighted with the announcement of the two racers:
“Every year we try to put together the best-ever line up of champions and we’re well on the way to doing that in 2008. To have the greatest ever drivers from F1, rallying, Le Mans and touring cars, plus the driver who has beaten everyone else to The Race of Champions title for the past two years, is fantastic – it really is going to be a great battle.”
Ekström and Kristensen, who won the ROC Nations Cup together in 2005, will race as “Team Scandinavia” for a fourth consecutive year.
Tickets for The Race of Champions are on sale now by calling 0844 412 1743, or online at www.raceofchampions.com. Adult prices start at £18 and child tickets at £9.