Fresh from a second-place finish in 2021 World Rallycross Championship, Swedish driver Timmy Hansen to make his first appearance at Race Of Champions—the ultimate head-to-head event featuring top international racers from a wide range of motorsports.
For the ROC Snow + Ice WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden, February 5 - 6, 2022, 29-year-old Hansen joins an already-powerful roster of drivers from Nordic countries, including reigning World Rallycross champion, Johan Kristoffersson; 9-time Le Mans 24 winner Tom Kristensen, Petter and Oliver Solberg; and Mattias Ekström who will be Hansen's teammate when countries compete for the ROC Nations Cup.
Hansen won the Virtual Race Of Champions during the height of the pandemic in 2020. ROC Snow + Ice will be Hansen’s first real ROC participation, while his teammate Ekström makes his seventh showing at a ROC WORLD FINAL and has won the individual ROC title three times. A veteran of multiple racing disciplines, he has gathered championships in World Rallycross, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), and Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC).
ROC Sweden will feature drivers with the most titles/wins from premier events and racing series including 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR Cup Series, FIA World Rally Championship, and the Indianapolis 500.
World Rallycross front-runner, Timmy Hansen, to line-up of drivers confirmed for the ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden. “I am super excited to be able to participate in the Race Of Champions," said 2019 World Rallycross Champion, Timmy Hansen. "I have watched and followed the race since as long as I can remember and it’s a great privilege for me to be able to represent Team Sweden with Mattias. Being Swedish I feel very at home driving on snow and ice so that could be an advantage".
“The combination of two such strong drivers as Timmy and Mattias must make Host nation Sweden one of the favourites to win the ROC Nations Cup title in front of their home fans," said ROC President, Fredrik Johnsson.
Mattias Ekström ROC Champion of Champions in Paris 2006.
As the largest event ever held in Norrbotten, the ROC Snow + Ice WORLD FINAL has attracted many of the region's top drivers, and is set for some fierce competition between the Nordic countries vying for the coveted ROC Nations Cup. "When we first introduced the ROC Nations Cup in 1999, we could not have imagined how popular this team competition would become for drivers and fans," continued Johnsson. "ROC is a healthy mix of camaraderie and fierce rivalries, and the Nations Cup really brings that all together."
Held on the first day of ROC competition, this year's Nations Cup will feature national teams including Sweden, Norway, Finland, USA, Germany, Great Britain, France, along with contingents from Latin America, and the Nordic Countries, represented by title holders Johan Kristoffersson and Tom Kristensen. In this unique format, two drivers team up to represent a country or region in a shoot-out of head-to-head heats leading to a final race that decides the "fastest nation on earth." Past winners of Nations Cup include names like Team USA with Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Colin Edwards, Finland, France, Team Great Britain, Team Nordic, and Formula One legends, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel who dominated Nations Cup competition from 2007-2012 as Team Germany.
A unique winner-takes-all format that gives competitors the opportunity to test their talents against competitors they would never typically encounter, ROC draws many of the most successful racers from global motorsports. ROC always brings together some of the 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, 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 Indianapolis 500 champions Juan-Pablo Montoya and Hélio Castroneves.
Event organizers confirmed that ROC Sweden will feature drivers with the most titles/wins from premier events and racing series. During his career, Tom Kristensen dominated 24 Hours of Le Mans with nine wins. Jimmie Johnson claimed NASCAR Cup Series titles before moving on to IndyCar for the 2021 season. Current Extreme E racer, Sebastien Loeb dominated the FIA World Rally Championship with nine consecutive championships (2003-2012). And, in 2021, Castroneves became only the fourth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 four times.
"Winning the Virtual Race Of Champions in 2020 was a fantastic feeling. To now be able to compete in the real ROC is going to be amazing. After missing out on both the FIA World Rallycross title and the Nitro Rallycross title by just 1 point, I am ultra motivated to try to win both the ROC Nations Cup with Mattias and the individual Race Of Champions,” said Hansen.