The road to November’s Race Of Champions World Final in Düsseldorf will begin with ROC South Europe at the Portimão circuit in Portugal’s Algarve on August 8-9
This ROC Regional Final will feature a showdown between drivers from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Monaco bidding to qualify for the ROC Nations Cup World Final
There will also be a special ROC Legends race, featuring greats of the track including five-time 500cc world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan plus stars of F1 and rally such as Johnny Herbert, Marcus Grönholm, Stig Blomqvist and many more
Following the success of last year’s inaugural ROC South Europe, the event is returning to Portugal on August 8-9, this time at the Portimão circuit in the Algarve.
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. It brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s most prestigious disciplines and pits them head-to-head in identical machinery. This ROC Regional Final will give teams from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Monaco the chance to battle for a place in the ROC Nations Cup World Final at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena in November.
There will also be a ROC Legends race featuring motorcycle superstar Mick Doohan plus stars of F1 and rally including Johnny Herbert, Marcus Grönholm and Stig Blomqvist.
Doohan said: “Last year I made my debut at The Race of Champions in Beijing and the ROC Legends race in Portugal. They’re fun events – though the drivers still give it everything when they’re in the cars. I’m looking forward to coming back to Portimão next month and showing it takes more than a couple of extra wheels to slow us bikers down…”
Last year’s ROC South Europe was held at the stadium of FC Porto but now it is the turn of Portimão’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve to be transformed. The race will be run on a specially constructed parallel track along the main straight and the first section of corners.
“This track is very different to the stadiums we usually use because it is already built,” said Mouton. “We will race on a section of the Portimão circuit itself, with minor modifications. We’ve had to add extra tarmac only in a couple of parts related to the bridge.
“Our Portuguese co-organisers were keen to have a long track. So alongside the usual twisty rally section we will have a long straight with chicanes in front of the main grandstands. That means it’s quite a fast track with a mix of racing and rallying.”
Johnsson added: “After the success of our first ROC South Europe last year, we are thrilled to be returning to Portugal for what promises to be another exciting event. This will be the first time since 2003 that a ROC event has been staged at a purpose-built racetrack rather than a stadium so we look forward to two enjoyable evenings at Portimão.”
Tickets and further details are available from the website www.rocportugal.com
and ROC South Europe Tickets.
Drivers competing at ROC South Europe at Portimão on August 8-9 include:
· Five-time 500cc world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan
· Former F1 driver and five-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Emanuele Pirro
· Multiple Formula 1 race winner Johnny Herbert
· World rally champion Stig Blomqvist
· Two-time world rally champion Marcus Grönholm
· World Rally Championship regular Armin Schwarz
· Three-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Dindo Capello
· WTCC regular and F1 podium-finisher Tiago Monteiro
· Former Formula 1 driver Pedro Lamy
· Current WRC star Dani Sordo
· Rally Dakar victor Nani Roma
· Former Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Stéphane Ortelli
· GP2 race-winner Alvaro Parente
· GP2 race-winner Clivio Piccione
· A1GP race-winner Filipe Albuquerque
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