The youngest driver to ever win an IndyCar Series race, Colton Herta has been confirmed as replacement for injured Travis Pastrana in the ROC Snow + Ice WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden, February 5 - 6, 2022.
Making his first ROC appearance, 21-year-old Herta will compete for the individual "Champion of Champions" title and will also join seven-time NASCAR champion and current IndyCar competitor, Jimmie Johnson, in America's bid for the coveted ROC Nations Cup on day 1 of the two-day race weekend.
Johnson's original teammate, action sports legend and 2021 Nitro Rallycross and American Rally Association Champion, Travis Pastrana, will miss the event in Sweden due to multiple injuries sustained while base jumping in Florida.
As the ultimate head-to-head race featuring top international racers from a wide range of motorsports, this year's ROC will have more than 20 individual competitor entries and 10 teams vying for the 20th running of the ROC Nations Cup.
Additional drivers already confirmed for the upcoming event in Sweden include four-time Formula One Champion, Sebastian Vettel; F2 Champion and rising Formula One star, Mick Schumacher; nine-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen; nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb; seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson; two-time Formula One Champion, Mika Hakkinen; Formula One front-runner, Valtteri Bottas; two-time W Series Champion, Jamie Chadwick; 2019 ROC "Champion of Champions", Benito Guerra Jr; 2019 World Rallycross Champion, Timmy Hansen; and four-time Indy 500 winner, Hélio Castroneves;
Held on the frozen Baltic Sea just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, this year's ROC WORLD FINAL 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.
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.
January 28, 2022 – Promoters of the annual Race Of Champions (ROC), announced today the addition of American race car driver, Colton Herta, to the list of international stars competing in the ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden. "What an amazing opportunity to join Race Of Champions for the first time," said NTT IndyCar Series driver, Colton Herta. "It comes with sorrow as I fill in for Travis, and I wish him speedy and full recovery."
Herta won his first NTT IndyCar Series race in 2019 at the age 18, and has gone on to win five more IndyCar events in his first three seasons in the premier American open-wheel series. Colton is the son of former IndyCar and Champ Car driver, Bryan Herta.
The announcement confirms a change to the line-up for the ROC Nations Cup event—the unique team competition held on Day 1 of ROC's two-day format. Herta will replace the injured Travis Pastrana on Team USA and joins one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, Jimmie Johnson, as they take on a frozen track, weather, and race equipment that could all prove foreign and challenging to the open-wheel drivers at this year's ROC.”Unfortunately I won’t be able to participate in Race Of Champions this year due to Multiple hip fractures, broken Sacrum, etc after a simple base jump went wrong,"said Travis Pastrana from his hospital bed. "I was so looking forward to go to ROC in Sweden and represent Team US with one of my favorite friends Jimmie Johnson. I’m really sorry, but sure Jimmie and Colton will be absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to be back at Race Of Champions 2023. I will come back stronger and faster, and try to figure out where my limits are a little bit more..."
Johnson is returning for his 5th ROC WORLD FINAL event. The California native, is currently driving for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series and is tied with legends, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, with seven NASCAR Cup championships.
"We are really sad for Travis. He is an exceptional athlete and human being who is always pushing the limits. Travis once almost won the Race Of Champions in Stade de France in Paris with a broken leg, so even after we heard about his accident we thought that if someone can still do it it’s him, but unfortunately he is still in hospital and will not be able to race next week. We look forward to have Travis back at ROC 2023." said ROC President, Fredrik Johnsson. "Colton is one of the world’s fastest and most exciting young race drivers and it will be very interesting to see what he and Jimmie can do for Team USA. In 2002, Jimmie and Jeff Gordon completely upset the field on the rally course in Gran Canaria including many of the best rally drivers in the world, to capture the first ROC Nations Cup win for the U.S. I know both Colton and Jimmie are super motivated to try to do it again for the USA"
As the main event on the first day of ROC competition, this year's ROC Nations Cup will feature national teams from Sweden, Norway, Finland, USA, Germany, Great Britain, France, along with contingents from Latin America, and Nordic Countries. In this novel 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." Other past winners of the ROC Nations Cup include French rally legend, Sebastien Loeb and teammate, Jean Alesi; Team Nordic’s reigning ROC Natiosn Cup title hoklders Le Mans legend, Tom Kristensen and Johan Kristoffersson; Finland's Heikki Kovalainen and Marcus Grönholm from Formula One and World Rally Championship, respectively; and Formula One titans, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel who dominated Nations Cup competition from 2007-2012 as Team Germany.
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")