Fri 25 September 2015
The most successful racer in British Touring Car Championship history Jason Plato has become the latest driver to join the line-up for the 2015 Race Of Champions at London’s former Olympic Stadium on November 20-21.
The news means that two of Great Britain’s home nations will be represented at this annual end-of-season festival of motor sport. Team Scotland will feature the reigning ROC Champion of Champions David Coulthard alongside an as-yet-unnamed team-mate. Plato has meanwhile become the first driver confirmed for Team England, with his partner also still to be announced.
Plato has won more races than anyone else in the history of the British Touring Car Championship, with a total win count that is approaching a century. He has finished in the title race top three no less than 12 times, coming out on top in 2001 and 2010. One of the most famous faces in UK motor sport thanks to his regular appearances on television, Plato is again heavily involved in the 2015 BTCC title fight with just two race meetings remaining – starting this weekend in Silverstone.
Plato has made two previous ROC appearances; on his last visit in 2010 he reached the ROC Nations Cup final alongside fellow tin-top legend Andy Priaulx, only to fall to the might of Team Germany’s Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. Now he’ll be hoping the home support in London could help take Team England all the way.
Plato said: “I’ve always enjoyed my visits to the Race Of Champions and there’s no greater incentive than to look at the drivers who assemble there every year. They are the very best in the world and it’s a privilege to race against them on the same track in identical cars.
“This has been another good year for me in the BTCC and of course I’ll do everything to make sure I arrive at the Race Of Champions as a three-time champion. I will also look forward to finding out who will be racing with me for Team England. As the home nation I can’t wait to hear the noise of the crowd and I hope we can do them proud.”
The Race Of Champions itself is an annual end-of-season contest which has been held for over 25 years. It brings together some of the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
The event is run over two days: first comes the ROC Nations Cup (on the evening of Friday November 20) when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. Then on the afternoon of Saturday November 21 it’s time for the Race Of Champions itself, when teamwork goes out of the window and it’s a flat-out battle for individual glory.
Along with Plato and Coulthard, other drivers in action at ROC 2015 include F1 stars Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa and Nico Hülkenberg, Le Mans 24 Hours legend Tom Kristensen, reigning FIA Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr, reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg plus MotoGP world champions Mick Doohan and Jorge Lorenzo.
ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: “We’re delighted to have Jason in the field for this year’s Race Of Champions. He is a true tin-top legend with more British Touring Car Championship wins than anyone in history. He also has a ROC Nations Cup final appearance to his name so he will no doubt be a fierce competitor for Team England again this time. We trust there will be plenty of home support at the former Olympic Stadium. Now we just have to find Jason a worthy team-mate…”
In recent years ROC has visited the Stade de France in Paris (2004-2006), London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium in Beijing (2009), Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena (2010-2011), the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok (2012) and Bushy Park Barbados (2014). Now the contest is returning to its European roots at the iconic home of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Tickets for ROC 2015 in London are now available via www.raceofchampions.com. For access to rights-free high-resolution imagery and to keep up with all the latest news ahead of this year’s event please visit www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook plus @raceofchampions and #ROCLondon on Twitter.
Drivers already announced for the 2015 Race Of Champions: