Fri 02 October 2009
Three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx is the latest name to be confirmed for The Race Of Champions 2009, and the Guernseyman is aiming to become the first British winner of the event since Colin McRae 10 years ago.
Priaulx, who has driven in The Race of Champions since 2006, will return as a competitor who narrowly missed out on making the final for the past two years. In 2007 the BMW works driver was knocked out by eventual Champion of Champions Mattias Ekström, while Sébastien Loeb went on to win the event after beating Priaulx in the semi-finals in 2008. He also won the “ROC Legends” competition at the first Race of Champions regional final in Portugal earlier this year.
“Having enjoyed competing in The Race of Champions at Wembley and Stade de France, as well as the ROC Legends event in Porto, I’m excited to see the track in Beijing, which I’m told is going to be bigger and better than ever before,” said Priaulx.
“I’ve reached the semi-finals for the past two years, so my aim has to be to win the event outright this year, as well as achieving a good result for Team Autosport Great Britain in The ROC Nations Cup.
“The competition will be tough, but whatever happens it will be tons of fun, which is the spirit of ROC, and it will be spectacular to compete in somewhere as incredible as the Bird’s Nest Stadium.”
Fredrik Johnsson, President of The Race of Champions Organisers IMP, said of Priaulx: “Andy has been one of the most competitive drivers in The Race of Champions over the past three years, showing again and again that he has a natural ability to jump into any type of car and instantly be quick. It’s not just his speed that makes him such a great ROC competitor though – he clearly has a lot of fun, and that’s what the fans want to see.”
Priaulx first entered The Race of Champions in Paris in 2006, after winning his second World Touring Car crown. He will be teamed with F1 World Championship leader Jenson Button for The ROC Nations Cup, with the pairing having reached the semi-finals together for the past two years.