Mon 14 September 2009
Jenson Button has signed up to fight for national honour this December, by confirming he will compete at Wembley stadium when The Race Of Champions returns to the UK for a second successive year on Sunday 14 December. In doing so he has set up the first national grudge match of the event, as Britain tries to wrestle the ROC Nations Cup from its old sporting rivals and reigning champions, Germany.
Last year Team England – made up of Button plus three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx – got through to the semi-finals of the ROC Nations Cup before being knocked out by Germany’s Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who went on to win. This year, instead of an English and Scottish squad, Team Autosport Great Britain will be the first of two British teams, leaving more options for potential drivers to enter.
“I never thought I’d be able to say I’d compete for my country against Germany at Wembley, but it was great to do that last year, and the crowd were awesome,” said the Honda Racing F1 Team star. “As soon as I heard Schumacher and Vettel had signed up for Germany again, I knew I had to come back to take them on.”
Wembley will be transformed for the event.
“Last year was the first time I’d done The Race of Champions and, although it’s all a bit of fun and we say it doesn’t matter who wins, I was gutted that we lost out to the German team. It’s the one chance of the year where we all get to compete against each other in identical cars, and I’m determined to help get Britain through to the final this time!”
Schumacher and Vettel were the first drivers to be confirmed for The Race of Champions 2008, which features racing drivers from many different disciplines competing against each other, head-to-head, on a parallel circuit constructed inside Wembley stadium.
Tickets for the event are on sale now by calling 0844 412 1743, or online at www.raceofchampions.com. Adult prices start at £14.40 (including a 20% discount available until 31 July) and children can get in for as little as £9.