Brazilian superstar, Hélio Castroneves, and Mexican rally star, Benito Guerra Jr., to compete at the upcoming ROC Snow + Ice WORLD FINAL hosted by Pite Havsbad, Sweden, February 5 - 6, 2022.
The winningest driver in Indianapolis 500 history, Castroneves has seen more than 30 checkered flags in IndyCar and Champ Car, along with the 2020 title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and victory at the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Guerra, winner of the 2012 Production World Rally Championship (PWRC), won the ROC "Champion of Champions" title at the 2019 Mexico City event.
The announcement today confirms that 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.
ROC Sweden will be Castroneves' fourth showing at a ROC WORLD FINAL, and the open-wheel veteran will campaign in the individual Race Of Champions competition and represent Latin America in ROC Nations Cup team competition with Guerra. Remarkably, Guerra won the 2019 Mexico City race in only his second ROC appearance.
Drivers already confirmed for the upcoming event in Sweden include four-time Formula One Champion, Sebastian Vettel; nine-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen; reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion, Johan Kristoffersson; nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb; seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson; three-time winner of the ROC WORLD FINAL, Mattias Ekström; two-time Formula One World Champion, Mika Hakkinen; Current Formula One front-runner, Valtteri Bottas; 2021 NRX and American Rally Association Champion, Travis Pastrana; FIA World Rally and Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg; and rising WRC star, Oliver Solberg.
The upcoming ROC Snow + Ice WORLD FINAL will be held on the frozen Baltic Sea, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle—the largest event ever held in Norrbotten.
Event promoters and local officials are focused on sustainability in all aspects of event operations, including exciting new electric race cars and other innovative equipment using 100% fossil-free bio fuel.
Four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, Hélio Castroneves, and Mexican rally star, Benito Guerra Jr., will take on a growing international field of drivers at the upcoming ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden. "I'm so excited to be at the Race of Champions," said Hélio Castroneves. "It's always an honor to race against the best of the best."
2012 PRWC Champion and reigning ROC "Champion of Champions", Benito Guerra Jr., added "I am thrilled to be part of this amazing competition once again. For sure this one will be a hard-fought battle. I will do my best to try to keep my title. I am thankful for the support from my partners, the people in Mexico, and my family who continue to push and inspire me."
The two drivers will be vying for the individual Champion of Champions title and also bringing their diverse talents together as Team Latin America in a campaign for the coveted ROC Nations Cup. "These guys represent very different racing disciplines, but have both have shown they can be very competitive at the Race Of Champions," said ROC President, Fredrik Johnsson. "Now it will be very interesting to see how they both adapt to racing on snow and ice to see if they can create another surprise at ROC Sweden."
In past ROC appearances, both drivers have proven to be fierce challengers. In 2019, in front of a home crowd in Mexico City's Foro Sol stadium, Benito Guerra qualified ahead of Formula One star Sebastian Vettel and then knocked out two more Formula One drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Gutierrez, before finally besting Le Mans 24H Champion, Loic Duval, in the final. Guerra's only other appearance was at ROC Bangkok in 2012, on the heels of winning the PRWC title that same year.
Castroneves has competed in ROC WORLD FINALS in Mexico, Miami and Riyadh in 2018, where he partnered with Columbian racer, Juan Pablo Montoya, to claim second place for Latin America in the ROC Nations Cup. Fresh from an Indianapolis 500 win in 2021, Castroneves is now firmly among legends. Only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears have equaled Castroneves' record of four victories at the famed "Brickyard". “Winning Indy for the fourth time was an incredible result, especially when you stop and think that only a few drivers on the entire planet have been able to achieve this," Castroneves continued. "But these wins do not necessarily translate very well into the snow experience in Sweden. It will be interesting to say the least."
"With drivers from Formula 1, rallycross and now also Indy-500, we have really managed to get top drivers from all over the world and from many different genres in motorsport. We are fully preparing for the folk festival in February, it will be two incredibly exciting and fast-paced days," says Tobias Lindfors, Group CEO and owner of Pite Havsbad Group.
ROC Sweden will feature the drivers with the most titles/wins from the world’s most prestigious motorsport 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.
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 every discipline of global motorsports. In addition to Castroneves and Guerra, past ROC events have brought together 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 Indianapolis 500 champions Juan-Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves.
Each year, drivers look forward to the innovative challenges created at ROC, whether those involve terrain, track design or racing equipment. "We will be at the Arctic Circle in freezing temperatures and very little daylight," Johnsson continued. "Add to this the snow and ice which will become the widest and fastest track in ROC history. It is really hard to tell who if anyone will have an advantage coming into this event."
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, the ROC Nations Cup has created some of ROC's most intense action.
As part of the ROC's most recent innovations, the equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will feature cars powered by electric and 100% fossil-free biofuel engines. Cars announced to date include the over 1000 horsepower FC1-X, that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in less than 1,5 seconds, the FIA RX2e—another electric rallycross car generating 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510 Nm torque—and the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The RX2e accelerates from 0-100km/h in less than 3.3 seconds, while the GT4 makes 425 bhp from fossil-free biofuel. The SuperCar Lites will 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")
Current drivers announced for the 2022 event:
Sebastian Vettel – 4x Formula One Champion
Mick Schumacher – FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 Champion
Jimmie Johnson – 7x NASCAR Cup Champion
Mika Hakkinen – 2x Formula One Champion
Valtteri Bottas – Current Formula One front-runner
Sebastien Loeb – 9x World Rally Champion
Travis Pastrana – 2021 American Rally Association Champion and Extreme sport legend
Tom Kristensen – 9x Le Mans winner
Johan Kristoffersson – Reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion
Petter Solberg – FIA World Rally and Rallycross Champion
Oliver Solberg – Rising WRC star
Mattias Ekström – 2x DTM Champion and World Rallycross Champion
Helio Castroneves – 4x Indy 500 Winner
Benito Guerra – Reigning ROC Champion and Production World Rally Championship (PWRC)