Wed 31 August 2016
Action sports superstar Travis Pastrana has become the latest name to sign up for the Race Of Champions (ROC) in Miami on January 21-22, 2017
The American has an impressive roll of honour on both two wheels and four, with a string of freestyle motocross triumphs and four Rally America titles
Now Pastrana will wow the crowds at the first ever ROC on American soil at Miami’s Marlins Park baseball stadium in January
The field also includes four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, NASCAR champion Kurt Busch and Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay
Many more racing superstars will be announced in the run-up to ROC Miami, with tickets already on sale at www.raceofchampions.com
Sports fans heading to Miami’s Marlins Park baseball stadium for the first ever Race Of Champions (ROC) on American soil are in for a treat as action sports great Travis Pastrana has joined the list of competitors for the event on January 21-22, 2017.
Pastrana is a legend on both four wheels and two, though he has earned much of his fame from having none of them in contact with the ground. The star of his own Nitro Circus show, he has long been a YouTube sensation for stunts including jumping out of a plane without a parachute and the longest ever jump in a car over water.
The American became the youngest freestyle motocross world champion at the age of 14, later wowing crowds all over the world and becoming the first rider ever to nail the double backflip. He has since branched out into four wheels, competing in everything from rally to NASCAR and the Daytona 24 Hours. His haul of silverware includes 11 X Games gold medals and four Rally America titles. This year he added yet another rally victory at the 100 Acre Wood.
Pastrana’s Race Of Champions record is mighty too. In 2005 he made it to the semi-finals despite a broken leg sustained in a freestyle motocross exhibition jump at the same event, only to be narrowly knocked out by world rally champion Sébastien Loeb in his own Citroën rally car. The next year Pastrana single-handedly took Team USA to the ROC Nations Cup final after both Jimmie Johnson and his replacement Scott Speed were injured just before the event.
Now Pastrana is back to make his eighth Race Of Champions appearance in front of his home crowd in Miami. He joins a field that already includes Germany’s four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel plus NASCAR champion Kurt Busch and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Many more big names will be confirmed in the run-up to January’s event.
Pastrana said: “The greatest part about the Race Of Champions is that you take all these legends and the best in the world from Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR and put them all together, but not necessarily in their speciality. Anybody can win at any time. I took two wins against Sebastian Vettel, who was the Formula 1 champion at the time – in his home country Germany – in a Porsche and an Aston Martin. Then he beats me in Beijing in a rally car, which should have been my speciality. Everyone always has a shot because there are so many vehicles that no one’s ever driven or had experience in, so everyone makes a lot of mistakes.”
“The Race Of Champions is amazing and the atmosphere’s awesome. It’s usually after the season’s over or before the new one starts so the shenanigans going on in the hotel are pretty ridiculous. Some of the best memories of my life have been with these drivers at ROC. Everyone’s super competitive but it’s just about going out there and having fun. So I’m coming back to the Race Of Champions in Miami with a big smile on my face. Game on…”
The Race Of Champions is an annual 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, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, MotoGP, World Rally and Action sports – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. All the racing takes place in a stunning range of superfast cars.
The ROC event is run over two days: first comes the Race Of Champions itself (on Saturday, January 21) featuring a flat-out battle for individual glory. Then on Sunday, January 22 comes the ROC Nations Cup when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. In 2017, this will see America take on the rest of the world in a special contest in celebration of the host venue.
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), Bushy Park Barbados (2014) and London’s former Olympic Stadium (2015).
Now the event is heading to the United States for the first time to soak up the heat of Miami. Florida’s sports fans will have a chance to watch the speediest action Marlins Park has ever seen as many of the world’s greatest drivers push to the absolute limit on a specially-designed racing track winding its way around the infield and outfield.
But that’s not all. The Race Of Champions is a non-stop action event from start to finish and also features stunt shows on four wheels and two wheels plus DJs, cheerleaders and plenty of other entertainment to keep the race fans on the edge of their seats.
ROC President Fredrik Johnsson said: “It’s brilliant to have Travis Pastrana back at the Race Of Champions for the first time since 2011. He is a true crowd-pleaser and has been a fixture of action sports for so long that he has become a global icon. The fact that Travis is joining us in Miami is great news, particularly for anyone who loves to watch spectacular driving.”
“Travis has been an amazing competitor down the years at the Race Of Champions too. Anyone who can give world rally legend Sébastien Loeb a fright in his own rally car must have something special – but Travis managed it even with a broken leg…”
“Now we all look forward to seeing what he can pull off this time with the help of his home crowd in Miami as we welcome him back for the first time since 2011. We always put on a big show at ROC and now we hope to see plenty of action sports fans joining the fun inside Miami’s Marlins Park in January.”
Tickets for ROC Miami 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 #ROCMiami on Twitter.