Action sports legends Brian Deegan and Travis Pastrana will join forces for a thrilling Team USA at December’s Race Of Champions
Deegan is a motocross and off-road great who has stunned crowds on two wheels and four, taking Rally Cross gold at the 2011 X-Games
The American joins a dazzling field that includes three F1 world champions for ROC 2011 in Düsseldorf on December 3-4
Team USA will have a unique line-up of two action sports legends for the 2011 Race Of Champions after Brian Deegan signed up to race alongside Travis Pastrana, who was confirmed last month.
Known as ‘The General’, Deegan made history and pioneered what is now known as freestyle motocross by “ghost riding” his bike across the finish line at the LA Coliseum in 1997 – astonishing the crowd, stunning the AMA officials, and setting in motion a new breed of competition. He has since become the only rider to compete at every X-Games, amassing a total of 13 medals.
Deegan and Pastrana have long had overlapping and competing careers as rivals on two wheels in motocross, supercross and freestyle motocross. Recently both have ventured beyond the motorcycle world into four-wheel competition, with considerable success such as Pastrana’s four Rally America titles and Deegan’s Rally Cross gold at this year’s X-Games.
That roll of honour comes with a price, of course. Just as Pastrana is recovering from a serious ankle injury after his latest crash at this year’s X-Games, Deegan’s road to the top has not been without challenge. His career is marked by multiple near-death experiences, several broken bones, a lost kidney, and a severe spleen injury. In the end, it has been Brian’s fearlessness and rebel attitude that has established him as one of the top talents and competitors in the sport.
Often pitted as opposite extremes – Deegan the edgy rebel, Pastrana the easy-going, boy-next-door – over time, they have become friends. It may come as a surprise for action sports fans to see the duo together on the world stage, but now they are pooling their huge talents as team-mates at the 2011 Race Of Champions.
Deegan said: “I’ve heard a lot about the Race Of Champions from Travis down the years so I’m really looking forward to joining him next month. It adds a bit of extra edge to be racing for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup so we’ll bring a bit of our cowboy attitude and see how we get on. We know we’re up against a mighty field of motor sport specialists but we’ll give everything to come away with a good result.”
The Race Of Champions is an annual end-of-season competition that brings together the world’s greatest drivers from all motor sport’s disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery on a specially constructed parallel track. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 3 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 4 December.
ROC race organiser Fredrik Johnsson said: “We could hardly have picked a more exciting line-up for Team USA. We’ve already seen the energy Travis brings to the Race Of Champions so it’s special to have two action sports greats together. Brian will no doubt prove to be just as big a hit with the crowds. And as for backstage and the parties afterwards, we might not know what’s hit us…”
Drivers confirmed so far for ROC 2011 include Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button – who have ten Formula 1 world championships between them. Even more big names will be added in the run-up to the event at Düsseldorf in December. For information about tickets (starting from €19) please visit the website www.raceofchampions.com.
Drivers confirmed for the 2011 Race Of Champions:
Sebastian VETTEL, 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 World Champion
Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion
Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
Mattias EKSTROM, DTM star and triple ROC Champion of Champions
Sébastien OGIER, winner of five WRC rallies in 2011
Romain GROSJEAN, 2011 GP2 Series Champion
Martin TOMCZYK, 2011 DTM Champion
Vitaly PETROV, Formula 1 driver for Lotus Renault GP
Timo GLOCK, Formula 1 driver for Marussia Virgin Racing
Timo SCHEIDER, 2008 and 2009 DTM Champion
Travis PASTRANA, four-time Rally America winner and X-Games legend
Brian DEEGAN, 13 X-games medals including Rally Cross gold in 2011