Susie Wolff will become the first female driver ever to compete at the Race Of Champions at this year’s event in Bangkok on December 14-15
Wolff, currently the development driver for the Williams F1 team, will partner fellow Scot David Coulthard for Team GB
The pair join a line-up that includes F1 great Michael Schumacher, Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, four-time V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup and new World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier
Tickets are now available from the website www.raceofchampions.com
The Race Of Champions will feature a female driver for the first time in its history as Susie Wolff has signed up for ROC 2013, to be held at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium on December 14-15.
Wolff spent seven years racing in Germany’s DTM touring car series before sealing a role as development driver for the Williams F1 team in April 2012. She now has the chance to race the greats of world motor sport in the individual Race Of Champions and the ROC Nations Cup for Team GB alongside fellow Scot David Coulthard.
“Any driver would love to be invited to do the Race Of Champions,” said Wolff. “It’s an event I have watched as far back as I can remember. What is so exciting is that the cars race head-to-head and you can see how close it is: it always comes down to hundredths. Jumping in and out of the different cars is going to be the real challenge. You need to make sure your car control is as good as it can be because you don’t have time to get a proper feeling for the car, you just get in and go.
“Then there’s the ROC Nations Cup, where I certainly feel responsibility to make sure we do well as a nation. I know David from our time in DTM and I rate him really highly so to be part of the team alongside him makes me very proud. Of course we’ll be up against drivers who are absolutely at the top of their game. So I know it’s not going to be easy but I’m relishing the challenge.”
The news was warmly welcomed by Michèle Mouton, the world’s most successful female rally driver, who created the Race Of Champions with ROC President Fredrik Johnsson. She said: “As co-founder of the Race Of Champions and chairwoman of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission – Susie has been our Ambassador since 2012 – it is a pleasure to see her participating in ROC’s 26th edition in Bangkok.
“In competition Susie is reluctant to play the female card and only wants to be considered as a racing driver who simply fights to fulfil her dream of driving in F1, working hard to improve and perform well for her team. The main difficulty at ROC is to be able to quickly adapt your driving skills on different types of cars in a short time and I am convinced that Susie will do her very best!”
David Coulthard enjoyed a glittering Formula 1 career, taking 13 grand prix victories and finishing in the world championship top three no less than five times in over a decade at the top. He has since spent three years in Germany’s DTM championship – racing against Wolff – but last year he retired from full-time competition to focus on his other interests including his F1 commentary for BBC television.
The Scotsman has a fine pedigree at the Race Of Champions, reaching the Grand Final at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2008. That day he took rally legend Sébastien Loeb to the third heat of the best-of-three final, before missing out by the narrowest of margins in the decider. Last year in Bangkok he reached the individual semi-finals before falling to Le Mans great Tom Kristensen.
Coulthard said: “It’s always a pleasure to take part in the Race Of Champions – and this time will be no exception with my new team-mate Susie. Our paths have already crossed on the track in the DTM and now we have a chance to race together for Team GB, or should that be Team Scotland.
“There will be some strong partnerships in Bangkok but at this event one small mistake can make or break everything. You never want to let your team-mate down so we’ll do our best to put Scotland firmly back at the centre of the motor sport map. My age might be starting to catch up with my racing but my run to the individual semi-finals last year reassures me that experience can still pay off…”
Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson added: “Given that Michèle has been involved with the Race Of Champions since the start in 1988, it is ironic that we have never had a female driver in the main draw before now. So we’re thrilled to rectify that at last with Susie this year. The quick car changes make it a tough job for any ROC rookie but I’m sure Susie will adapt fast – plus she has DC’s experience to call on in the ROC Nations Cup. We hope to see many fans in the stadium cheering them both on.”
Held every year since 1988, the Race Of Champions brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP, Nascar, IndyCar, Touring Cars and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
ROC 2013 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 14 December, ahead of the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday 15 December.
ROC features stars from all over the world: seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, four-time V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup and 2013 World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier have already signed up and the rest of the 2013 field will be announced in the run-up to December’s event.
Tickets are now available from www.raceofchampions.com
where you can also find further information, media accreditation (closing date November 15) and access to high-resolution imagery. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook or @raceofchampions and the hashtag #BangROC on Twitter.
Drivers already announced for the 2013 Race Of Champions:
- Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
- Tom KRISTENSEN, nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner
- Sébastien OGIER, 2013 World Rally Champion
- Jamie WHINCUP, V8 Supercar Champion 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008
- Narain KARTHIKEYAN, Formula 1 driver and ROC Asia Champion 2012
- Karun CHANDHOK, Formula 1 driver and ROC Asia Champion 2012
- David COULTHARD, 13-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
- Susie WOLFF, development driver for the Williams F1 team