Sun 18 October 2015
Paralympic cyclist Jon-Allan Butterworth has become the latest name confirmed for a unique driving challenge at the Race Of Champions in London’s former Olympic Stadium on the evening of Friday 20 November.
Butterworth had his left arm amputated above the elbow after suffering an injury in a rocket attack on Iraq’s Basra Air Station while serving for the Royal Air Force in 2007. Within two months he made contact with British Cycling coaches and he was soon identified as a potential Paralympic talent.
With support and funding from the charity Help for Heroes, Butterworth went on to win three silver medals for Team GB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Track and Road Cycling. He now has his sights set on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Before that, he will have to find an even faster way around a track next month as he takes on the ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge presented by TAG Heuer. This features a course which has been specially designed to test a range of driving skills including chicanes, slaloms, 360° turns and parallel parking.
On Friday November 20, Butterworth will join a line-up including Olympic legends Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Ben Ainslie and MOBO award-winning singer-songwriter Ella Eyre. They will be joined in the chase for ROC glory by other big names from sport and elsewhere, with a full list to be published as the event approaches.
Butterworth said: “I have always been a fan of speed so I’m really looking forward to giving the ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge course a try. There are already some big names in the list of competitors – and Chris Hoy might be hard to beat given his new life as a racing driver – but I’ll try to give them a run for their money. The main thing is that we’ll all put on a good show for the crowds in London next month.”
The ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge presented by TAG Heuer will be part of a busy programme of shows to be held at the former Olympic Stadium during the Race Of Champions weekend. With a range of stunt drivers, music, cheerleaders and more, at ROC the entertainment and action never stops.
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, Le Mans, Rallycross, Touring Cars and MotoGP – 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.
Drivers competing at ROC 2015 include F1 stars Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hülkenberg and Felipe Massa, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, reigning World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, reigning Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr, British Touring Car great Jason Plato, reigning ROC Champion of Champions David Coulthard, Williams Martini Racing’s Official Test Driver Susie Wolff plus MotoGP world champions Mick Doohan and Jorge Lorenzo.
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:
Drivers confirmed for the ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge presented by TAG Heuer: