Motorsport and action sports legend Travis Pastrana has signed up for the Race Of Champions at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena in December
Pastrana has won 11 X-Games gold medals and four Rally America titles and is set to embark on the next chapter of his career, NASCAR, where he’ll compete in 2012
The American has been largely out of action since shattering his ankle in a bike crash at July’s X-Games – but he will be ready to race again at ROC
American action sports sensation Travis Pastrana will compete at the 2011 Race Of Champions, to be held at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena on December 3-4.
The event will be one of Pastrana’s first competitive appearances since he smashed his right foot and ankle while attempting a motorcycle trick at July’s X-Games. The accident forced him to delay a planned switch to NASCAR until 2012 but this month he finally had the pins removed. The American won’t be able to walk for a few more weeks but he is adamant he will be ready for ROC 2011 regardless.
Pastrana said: “I'm honoured to be invited to compete against the best of the best and represent the USA again this year. There isn't an event anywhere else like the Race Of Champions. The competitive nature of the drivers combined with our limited experience in the cars makes for a lot of fun and chaos. I've been injured most of this year and can't wait to get back in a car to prepare for this event!”
Since becoming the youngest freestyle motocross world champion at the age of 14, Pastrana has picked up an impressive range of silverware both on bikes and in cars. He has four Rally America titles and 11 gold medals from the X-Games, where he wowed the crowds as the first rider to nail the double backflip. Pastrana is just as well known for stunts including jumping out of a plane without a parachute and the longest ever jump in a car over water.
Pastrana’s record at the Race Of Champions is impressive too. In 2005 he made the semi-final despite a broken leg sustained in a freestyle motocross exhibition jump at the very same event. The next year he single-handedly took Team USA to the ROC Nations Cup final after both Jimmie Johnson and his replacement Scott Speed were injured just before the Paris event. He is pictured in conversation with newly-crowned F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel last year in Düsseldorf.
ROC race organiser Fredrik Johnsson said: “Travis is an absolute legend of the Race Of Champions – and a true crowd pleaser – so we are thrilled that he is coming back in 2011. We already know his mighty strength of will at overcoming injuries from his incredible performances at previous ROC events. Now we are delighted that he will recover from his latest spill in time to race with us again in December.”
The Race Of Champions is an annual end-of-season competition that brings together the world’s greatest drivers from all motorsport’s 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 on a specially constructed parallel track. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 3 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 4 December.
Six drivers have been confirmed so far for ROC 2011, including F1 world champions Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button. Plenty more big names will be added in the run-up to the event at Düsseldorf in December. For information about tickets (starting from €19) please visit the website www.raceofchampions.com.
Drivers already confirmed for the 2011 Race Of Champions:
Sebastian VETTEL, Reigning Formula 1 World Champion
Michael SCHUMACHER, Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion
Andy PRIAULX, Three-time World Touring Car Champion
Mattias EKSTROM, DTM star and triple ROC Champion of Champions
Travis PASTRANA, Four-time Rally America winner and X-Games legend