Mika Hakkinen, "The Flying Finn", will join a growing list of international stars at ROC Snow + Ice in Pite Havsbad, Sweden, February 5 - 6, 2022.
Driving for McLaren, Hakkinen rose to become one of the biggest names in motorsport and captured two Formula One World Drivers' Championship titles.
Hakkinen will be competing for the coveted "Champion of Champions" title in the individual ROC competition and, together with current Formula One star, Valtteri Bottas, Hakkinen will try to win the prestigious ROC Nation's Cup for Finland.
In addition to Bottas, the premier drivers already announced for the event include 9-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen, reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson; 9-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb; three-time winner of the ROC WORLD FINAL, Mattias Ekström; 2021 American Rally Association Champion, Travis Pastrana; FIA World Rally and Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg; and rising WRC star, Oliver Solberg.
Two-time Formula One World Champion, Mika Hakkinen, will join current Formula One front-runner, Valtteri Bottas, in his first appearance at a ROC WORLD FINAL event. The "Flying Finn" campaigned in Formula One for a decade, clinching World Drivers' Championship titles in 1998 and 1999. He is one of only three Finns to take that title and the only one to win that title more than once. Before his retirement in 2002, Hakkinen secured 20 Formula One victories and 51 podiums.
"I’m very excited to be back racing again and to finally be able to participate in the Race Of Champions. It will be very different from racing in Formula One, but I love competition and it’s so spectacular driving on snow and ice," said Hakkinen. "I’ll try to get some practice at my place in the north of Finland before the event."
“We have become good friends with Mika, so I’m very happy to have him as my teammate representing Finland in the ROC Nations Cup," said Valtteri Bottas, who took a dominant victory in the latest Formula One Grand Prix in Turkey ahead of Max Verstappen. "But then of course we have to try to beat each other in the individual Race Of Champions. It will be entertaining for the fans, whoever wins it."
The upcoming ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden, promises to be a unique challenge for drivers from numerous racing disciplines. It will be the fastest, widest course in ROC's thirty-year history, but it will be held on the unpredictable surface of the frozen Baltic Sea—a sharp departure from the past fifteen years of ROC events on asphalt and in stadiums.
Just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, Pite Havsbad provides the added adversity of short days and cold temperatures. Hakkinen will be taking on a field of legends and rising stars, including a strong Scandinavian line-up of Bottas, Tom Kristensen, Johan Kristoffersson, Mattias Ekström and Petter and Oliver Solberg.
“There is a long standing sporting rivalry between the Nordic countries, so there will be a lot of prestige on the line, especially between Finland and Sweden,” said ROC President, Fredrik Johnsson. “The local drivers might think they will have an edge, but the competition from nations like France, spearheaded by Sebastien Loeb, and US with Travis Pastrana will be fierce and there are always surprises at ROC. One thing is for sure; it will be very spectacular and entertaining to watch!”
A unique winner-takes-all format that gives competitors the opportunity to test their talents against competitors they would never typically encounter, ROC has been innovating racing formats for more than three decades, drawing many of the most successful racers from every discipline of global motorsports. The event is renowned for attracting superstars from all of the premier leagues in global motorsports including Formula One, Le Mans, Nascar, IndyCar, World Rally and Rallycross. Over its three decades, the event has been a battleground for European legends like Michael Schumacher, Tom Kristensen, Sebastian Vettel, Sébastien Loeb, Petter Solberg, Mattias Ekström, Colin McRae, David Coulthard, Marcus Grönholm, and Jenson Button; along with other international stars like Nascar champions Jimmie Johnson, Kurt and Kyle Busch, and Jeff Gordon; Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden of IndyCar; Formula E Champion Lucas Di Grassi; Legendary Extreme sports star Travis Pastrana; and Indy 500 champs Juan-Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves.
ROC's "Champion of Champions" individual racing was launched in 1988 and the ROC Nations Cup was introduced in 1999 as a team competition, becoming a fixture in every ROC WORLD FINAL since. Held on the first day of competition, this novel ROC Nations Cup has created some fierce rivalries and enduring dynasties, including Germany's dominance from 2007 through 2012 delivered by multiple Formula One World Champions, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Finland has won the ROC National Cup title twice, the last in the 2006 Paris event with Heikki Kovalainen and Marcus Gronholm besting Team USA in the final. "It’s an honor to represent Team Finland with Valtteri Bottas," Hakkinen said. "We will do our best to win the title and hopefully there will be a lot of Finnish fans coming to support us!"
Team Finland, represented by 2x World Rally Champion, Marcus Grönholm and former Formula 1 Star, Heikki Kovaleinen, last won the ROC Nations Cup title at Stade de France in 2006.
As part of the ROC's most recent innovations, the equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will mainly be powered by either electric engines or using 100% fossil-free biofuel. Cars announced to date include the FIA RX2e—an electric rallycross car accelerating from 0-100 km/h in just over 3 seconds and generating 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510 Nm torque. The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport will make their ROC debut alongside the SuperCar Lite rallycross machines that make their return to ROC, but this time powered by biofuel.
Schedule for the 2022 event:
Saturday 5th of February 2022, 12:00 – 15:00 CET: ROC Nations Cup (to Crown the World’s Fastest Nation)
Sunday 6th February 2022, 12:00 – 15:00 CET: Race Of Champions (to Crown the "Champion of Champions")
Additional drivers will be announced in the coming weeks and leading up to the event. A limited release of general admission tickets for the 2022 ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL is available at Tickster. Event organizers will comply with any COVID restrictions in effect. Organizers and local officials will be providing updates with regard to any additional ticket sales and any restrictions affecting travel and local services due to COVID.