Tue 15 June 2010
2010 Race of Champions launched in Dusseldorf
Pictured (from left to right): Jörg Mitze (ESPRIT arena Managing Director), Fredrik Johnsson (IMP President), Patrik Meyer (TSP Managing Director)
The journey to the 2010 Race Of Champions began today as it was officially launched at Düsseldorf's ESPRIT arena. The German stadium will play host to the event on the weekend of November 27-28, one day later than originally advertised.
The annual end-of-season competition brings together the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's most prestigious disciplines and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. It has recently been held at the Stade de France in Paris (2004-2006), London's Wembley Stadium (2007-2008) and Beijing's ‘Bird's Nest' National Stadium (2009).
Now The Race of Champions is heading to Germany, to the delight of home heroes Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Many more top drivers will join them in the run-up to the big weekend of November 27-28 - including racing legend Alain Prost, who announced today that he will be making his Race of Champions debut.
"I'm very happy to be able to participate in The Race of Champions at last," said Prost. "It will be an absolute pleasure to race with great drivers from different disciplines and different generations. I'm really looking forward to the experience."
Schumacher said: "It's very exciting to see The Race of Champions in Germany. Sebastian and I have won the Nations Cup for the last three years and I'm really looking forward to defending our title in front of our home crowd. I'm thrilled to hear Alain is joining in too, making the fun even bigger."
Vettel added: "The Race of Champions is a great way to end the season and the drivers always have a lot of fun together. Hopefully Michael and I will get a lot of home support."
The Race of Champions has been staged every year since 1988, founded by IMP President Fredrik Johnsson and Michèle Mouton, the world's most successful female rally driver.
Johnsson said: "We're delighted that the German crowd will have the chance to see Michael and Sebastian performing in this unique stadium environment. But we're not stopping there. Today Alain Prost confirmed he will be taking part too and there are plenty more superstar drivers on the way. Indeed we're confident that the 2010 line-up will be one of the best in the history of The Race of Champions."
The Race of Champions will take place on a specially constructed tarmac circuit with two parallel lanes winding their way round Düsseldorf's ESPRIT arena. The transformed stadium will feature a track that is 7.5 metres wide, an increase of a metre on Wembley and Beijing (see artist's impression above).
Mouton, who is responsible for the track design, said: "The new wider track is great news both for the fans and the drivers - as they will have even more freedom to fly and show off their incredible skills."
Jörg Mitze, Managing Director of the ESPRIT arena, said: "We're thrilled that The Race of Champions is coming to Düsseldorf. The event will allow over 50,000 spectators at the ESPRIT arena to see every move the cars make. It's a spectacular show not to be missed."
Patrik Meyer, Managing Director of German promoters TSP, added: "The stadium setting of The Race of Champions allows fans to get closer to the action than any other motor racing event. But we have aimed to make the race accessible for everyone by starting prices from as low as 29 Euros."
To apply for tickets, visit the website www.raceofchampions.com from Thursday May 20.