American extreme sports legend and reigning Nitro RX Champion Travis Pastrana and multi-discipline racing ace Tanner Foust have joined the line-up for the Race Of Champions on the snow and ice of Sweden’s Pite Havsbad on January 28-29, 2023
Pastrana and Foust will also pair up for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup, battling some of motorsport’s all-time greats head-to-head on ROC’s iconic parallel track at this stunning venue on the frozen Baltic Sea
The field already includes multiple F1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Mika Hakkinen, ten-time grand prix winner Valtteri Bottas, five-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, Norway’s rallying father-and-son duo Petter and Oliver Solberg plus triple W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick
Also in action are ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, 13-time F1 grand prix winner David Coulthard, 2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich, IndyCar racer Felix Rosenqvist, World Rally ace Thierry Neuville and F1’s Mick Schumacher
The full ROC Sweden driver line-up will be revealed in the run-up to January’s event, and tickets are already available from Tickster
Extreme sports legend on two wheels and four Travis Pastrana and multi-discipline racing great Tanner Foust are the latest drivers confirmed to compete at the Race Of Champions (ROC) on the snow and ice of Sweden’s Pite Havsbad on January 28-29, 2023.
Fellow Americans Pastrana and Foust won’t just be fighting for glory in the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday January 29. They will also join forces to compete for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday January 28, when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’.
The news means Team USA will have one of the most dynamic pairings at the ROC Nations Cup as Pastrana and Foust draw on all their years of experience in different conditions to tame this stunning venue on the frozen Baltic Sea, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. They will face a mighty line-up of motorsport legends battling it out in identical machinery on ROC’s iconic parallel track, where the winners are decided by driver skill alone.
To pull it off they will have to defeat the likes of Team Norway’s reigning champions, father-and-son World Rally stars Petter and Oliver Solberg, Team Finland’s double F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen and 10-time F1 grand prix winner Valtteri Bottas, plus five-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, who will hope to thrill the home crowds with a first ROC Nations Cup for Team Sweden.
The full ROC 2023 field will feature teams from all over the world, with a line-up that includes 13-time F1 grand prix winner David Coulthard, triple W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, 2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich, IndyCar ace Felix Rosenqvist, World Rally star Thierry Neuville, F1 star Mick Schumacher and four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, winner of a record seven ROC Nations Cup titles for Team Germany.
This means the ROC 2023 line-up features superstars from Formula 1, Formula 2, IndyCar, Le Mans, W Series, World Rally, World Rallycross and X-Games, with even more big names to be announced in the lead up to the event…
That line-up won’t faze Travis Pastrana, who has a glittering collection of silverware over his decades at the top on two wheels and four. As well as pulling off some of the world’s most daring stunts, he has 11 X-Games gold medals, six Rally America titles and he has competed in everything from Motocross to Sportscars to NASCAR. He won the Nitro Rallycross (NRX) crown in 2021 and he also leads this year’s title race.
Pastrana has an impressive history at the Race Of Champions too, not least 2006 in Paris when he took Team USA to the ROC Nations Cup final single-handed after last-minute injuries to his scheduled team-mates Jimmie Johnson and Scott Speed. A year earlier he reached the individual semi-final (and almost beat Sébastien Loeb in the Citroën WRC car) while racing with a broken leg. Now he will be looking for a second chance to compete on the snow and ice of Sweden’s Pite Havsbad – after he had to pull out of this year’s ROC following a base jumping accident.
Pastrana said: “I’ve always loved the Race Of Champions, even if I have quite a track record of injuring myself down the years: I once raced in Paris with a broken leg and this year I broke my pelvis base jumping the week before. So I guess I can’t claim to have mellowed much over the years… and I might now have to make a mental note to make sure I stay fit enough to be there in January! Then I’ll really look forward to racing with Tanner, having a blast on the snow and ice and hopefully winning Team USA’s first ROC Nations Cup since 2002.”
Tanner Foust, driver for McLaren Extreme E Team, finished second in the final round of the 2022 Extreme E season in Uruguay.
Tanner Foust has an impressive roll of honour in a wide range of motorsport too. He has more rallycross wins than any other American, including rounds of the global and European championships. He won three times rallycross champion in America and he once collected a record 25 consecutive heat wins. Foust set the qualifying record for the Porsche GT4 class at Pikes Peak in 2020 and currently competes for McLaren the Extreme E series. He has a total of ten X-Games medals, he is also a drift specialist, a regular stunt driver for Hollywood movies and the long-time host of the USA version of Top Gear.
Foust enjoyed his previous ROC appearances – at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2008 and Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena in 2010 – winning heats against the likes of F1 world champions Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. Now he has the chance to add even more scalps on the snow and ice of Pite Havsbad.
Foust said: “It’s an honour to be coming back to the Race Of Champions again. It’s been too long since my last visit but I’m thrilled to have a chance to compete against such an amazing line-up of motorsport greats from all over the world. I’ve done some ice racing too so I hope I can use that experience to help Team USA take on the rest of the world and maybe even surprise the Nordic teams. Either way, to hang out with Travis is always guaranteed to be memorable…”
With a history dating back to 1988, the Race Of Champions is a unique festival of global motorsport where stars from series including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, World Rally and Rallycross battle head-to-head in identical cars, with the winner decided by driver skill alone – often by fractions of a second. All the action takes place on a purpose-built parallel track featuring ROC’s iconic crossover bridge.
The Race Of Champions has been held at some of the world’s greatest venues – including Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, Stade de France in Paris, Wembley Stadium, London’s Olympic Stadium, Mexico City’s Foro Sol plus a wide range of exotic locations all over the globe from Bangkok to Miami to Riyadh to Barbados. But this year in Sweden was the first time it has ever been held on snow and ice.
ROC President Fredrik Johnsson said: “Travis is one of the world’s most popular sports stars – and he has shown that despite his many injuries he is currently faster than ever, winning the Nitro Rallycross Championship Title in 2021 and leading the series again this year. Together with Tanner, who has proved that he is fast in anything with four wheels, Team USA has a real chance to surprise everyone on the Swedish ice and they will for sure put on a spectacular show for the fans.”
The Chairman of Pite Havsbad Group Tobias Lindfors added: “It's incredibly fun that both Pastrana and Foust are joining Team USA, there will be fascinating duels on the frozen sea. It will be interesting to see which country wins the Nations Cup on Saturday and then which individual driver takes home the Race Of Champions final on Sunday. The spectators will experience two exciting days and races with some of the world's best drivers.”