Fri 23 December 2016
Do you have the ROC Factor? Two unknown drivers will win the opportunity to compete at next month’s Race Of Champions inside Miami’s Marlins Park in a unique contest based on a social media vote.
One driver from North America will line up alongside Canada’s IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe in the ROC Nations Cup, while a racer from Latin America will team up with Brazil’s triple Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves
The winners will race a field including Team USA NASCAR’s Kyle and Kurt Busch, Team USA IndyCar’s Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay and Team USA Rally X’s Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed – all in identical cars
Other competitors include Formula 1 greats Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and David Coulthard, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg plus Indy 500 winners Tony Kanaan and Juan-Pablo Montoya
Even more driving superstars will be announced in the run-up to ROC Miami on January 21-22, 2017, with tickets on sale at www.raceofchampions.com
Do you have the ROC Factor? If you are a racing driver from anywhere in North and South America, this is your chance to prove it. Two racers will win a chance to take on the racing legends competing at the first Race Of Champions on American soil – inside Marlins Park in Miami on January 21-22, 2017 – and it could be you!
One driver from North America (USA and Canada) will line up alongside Canadian IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe in the ROC Nations Cup on Sunday January 22, while a racer from Latin America (everywhere from Mexico to Cape Horn) will team up with Brazil’s triple Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the same competition.
The contest is open to anyone with a passport from the nations involved – you simply have to tell us why we should give you the chance to compete against some of the world's best drivers in identical cars live on TV all over the world. Ten drivers from North America and ten drivers from Latin America will then be selected for a vote on social media. The overall ROC Factor winners will earn this chance of a lifetime.
The prize really is a racer’s dream, competing against a field featuring some of the world’s best drivers. Team USA NASCAR features Kyle and Kurt Busch, Team USA IndyCar pairs Indianapolis 500 winners Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay and Team USA Rally X partners action sports aces Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed.
Other racers in action include Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, fellow F1 greats Felipe Massa and David Coulthard, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, Indianapolis 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan, IndyCar star Gabby Chaves plus double World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg. Even more big names will be announced in the run-up to January’s event.
The ROC Factor was started in connection with the Race Of Champions at London’s Olympic Stadium last year. The first winner Bradley Philpot even won his first round race and enjoyed the time of his life, hanging out with motor sport’s legends behind the scenes (pictured above, in blue on the right).
Helio Castroneves (pictured below right with ROC president Fredrik Johnsson) said: “ROC Factor is such an amazing opportunity. It’s a bit like American Idol; one moment someone’s singing in the shower and the next they’re becoming a huge star! I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait for January 21/22.
“The cool thing about Race Of Champions is that every driver has a chance, no matter what they’re used to racing. The variety of cars means there’s something suited to everyone, regardless of whether they’re from rallying, open-wheelers or NASCAR. So it really is all about the talent. Plus, for me, to be competing at home in Miami is always great, especially as my family and friends will be together having a good time. And of course racing at Marlins Park is so unusual! I think the fans will really enjoy it and be coming back for more.”
James Hinchcliffe added: “I’m really excited about the chance to be a part of this year’s ROC. I've watched this event for years and always wanted to be a part of it, so it's a bit of an early Christmas present getting the call. All these incredible drivers from so many disciplines in one place, all the different cars to try, and we still have to vote for my team-mate! It's going to be a blast!”
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, Touring Cars, 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 based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. In 2017, four North American teams will take on the rest of the world in a special contest to celebrate 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 has non-stop action from start to finish – featuring stunt shows on four wheels and two wheels plus DJs, cheerleaders and plenty of other entertainment to keep race fans on the edge of their seats.
ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: “We are thrilled to offer this special chance for all aspiring racers from Alaska down to Cape Horn. If you’ve ever watched the greats of motor sport and thought: ‘I could do that’, now’s your chance to prove it, battling them in identical cars on our unique track inside Miami’s Marlins Park.
“It’s fantastic that Helio and James have agreed to partner our ROC Factor winners as they bid for the ROC Nations Cup crown. These IndyCar greats will be the dream team-mate for our winners as they take on some of the world’s best racers. Now we look forward to welcoming a packed crowd to Miami to cheer them on. Who knows, maybe the ROC Factor drivers can surprise everyone and race all the way to glory…”
Full terms and conditions can be found here.
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.
Drivers already confirmed for ROC Miami:
Sebastian VETTEL, four-time Formula 1 world champion
Tom KRISTENSEN, nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner
Petter SOLBERG, double FIA World Rallycross champion
Juan-Pablo MONTOYA, 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner
Ryan HUNTER-REAY, 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner
Tony KANAAN, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner
Felipe MASSA, 11-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
Kurt BUSCH, 2004 NASCAR champion
Travis PASTRANA, action sports legend
Scott SPEED, double Global Rallycross champion
Alexander ROSSI, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner
Gabby CHAVES, 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year
David COULTHARD, 13-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 world champion
Kyle BUSCH, 2015 NASCAR champion
James HINCHCLIFFE, 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter
Helio CASTRONEVES, triple Indianapolis 500 winner