The draw for the 2023 Race Of Champions World Final on January 28-29 has thrown together a series of intriguing one-on-one battles between some of the world’s greatest drivers on the ice and snow of Sweden’s Pite Havsbad
ROC rookie Valtteri Bottas, winner of 10 F1 grands prix, races ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen on the frozen Baltic Sea, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle
Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel must battle triple W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick and FIA F2 Champion Felipe Drugovich goes up against double F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen
Reigning ROC Champion of Champions Sébastien Loeb will face fellow WRC ace Thierry Neuville while the ultimate battle for family pride sees World Rally and World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg take on his son Oliver
In the ROC Nations Cup the winners of Friday’s eROC will have the chance of a lifetime to race against Team Finland’s Hakkinen and Bottas while Team Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekström will start their bid for home glory against Team Nordic’s Felix Rosenqvist and Tom Kristensen
The draw for this weekend’s Race Of Champions World Final has taken place, pitting some of the greatest drivers in motorsport history against each other in head-to-head races – all on the ice and snow of Sweden’s Pite Havsbad.
The stunning venue, situated on the frozen Baltic Sea just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, will play host to stars from series including Formula 1, Formula 2, IndyCar, Le Mans, W Series, World Rally, World Rallycross, Nitro Rallycross and X-Games.
They will compete in two events: first the ROC Nations Cup (Saturday January 28, 12:00-15:00 CET) where drivers pair up in teams to seek the title of world’s fastest nation. Then all that friendly teamwork goes out of the window for the individual Race Of Champions (Sunday January 29, 12:00-15:00 CET) where the drivers will fight to be crowned ROC Champion of Champions.
All the racing action takes place in identical machinery on ROC’s iconic parallel track with a crossover bridge, with the winners decided by driver skill alone. And the draw has already guaranteed a range of intriguing duels…
ROC rookie Valtteri Bottas, winner of 10 F1 grands prix, will take on ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen while four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel must race triple W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick and double F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen faces reigning FIA F2 Champion Felipe Drugovich. There will also be the ultimate battle for family bragging rights as FIA World Rally and World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg goes up against his son, rising WRC star Oliver Solberg.
Reigning ROC Champion of Champions Sébastien Loeb begins the defence of his crown against fellow World Rally ace Thierry Neuville, while extreme sports legend and Nitro Rallycross Champion Travis Pastrana faces the toughest of starts against triple ROC Champion of Champions Mattias Ekström.
Saturday’s ROC Nations Cup has plenty of mouthwatering encounters too, not least the chance of a lifetime for the winner’s of the eROC final. They will race the might of Team Finland’s Valtteri Bottas and double F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen.
Team GB’s David Coulthard and Jamie Chadwick renew an age-old sporting rivalry against Team Germany’s Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher, while Team Norway’s reigning champions Petter and Oliver Solberg will have to see off Team France’s Adrian Tambay and Sébastien Loeb to progress.
Fans rooting for a home win can watch as Team Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekström, who have six FIA World Rallycross Championships between them, go up against Team Nordic’s IndyCar ace Felix Rosenqvist and Tom Kristensen.
The draw for the individual Race Of Champions, which was carried out by Tobias Lindfors, Chairman of Pite Havsbad Group, and Kristoffer Lundström, CEO of Pite Havsbad Group, splits the field into two halves. On one half are the international racing drivers; on the other are the rally drivers and those with more experience of off-road driving. The winners of each half of the draw will meet in the Grand Final.
Because the track conditions on snow and ice can change quickly depending on the weather, ROC’s traditional group stage will not take place because it often results in ties that require a countback of fastest laps. Instead events at the 2023 ROC World Final will use a straight knockout system.
To make it as fair as possible, races in Round 1 and the Round of 16 of the individual Race Of Champions will be decided over two heats, switching start positions each time. In the case of a 1-1 tie, the driver with the best total time will advance. In the ROC Nations Cup, races in Round 1 and the quarter-finals will be decided over four heats, so each driver will race against both drivers from the other team. In the event of a 2-2 tie the team with the best total time will advance.
ROC Nations Cup Draw (Saturday 28 January)
Team FINLAND (Mika Hakkinen & Valtteri Bottas)
Team eROC (the top two from Friday’s eROC final)
Team GB (David Coulthard & Jamie Chadwick)
Team GERMANY (Sebastian Vettel & Mick Schumacher)
Team NORWAY (Petter Solberg & Oliver Solberg)
Team FRANCE (Sébastien Loeb & Adrien Tambay)
Team SWEDEN (Johan Kristoffersson & Mattias Ekström)
Team NORDIC (Tom Kristensen & Felix Rosenqvist)
Team USA (Travis Pastrana & Tanner Foust)
Team ALL STARS (Felipe Drugovich & Thierry Neuville)
Team FINLAND or Team eROC
Team GB or Team GERMANY
Race Of Champions Draw (Sunday 29 January)
Adrien TAMBAY v David COULTHARD
Felix ROSENQVIST v Mick SCHUMACHER
Round of 16
Mika HAKKINEN v Felipe DRUGOVICH
TAMBAY or COULTHARD v ROSENQVIST or SCHUMACHER
Valtteri BOTTAS v Tom KRISTENSEN
Sebastian VETTEL v Jamie CHADWICK
Sébastien LOEB v Thierry NEUVILLE
Petter SOLBERG v Oliver SOLBERG
Johan KRISTOFFERSSON v Tanner FOUST
Travis PASTRANA v Mattias EKSTRÖM
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 event 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 range of exotic locations all over the globe from Bangkok to Miami to Riyadh to Barbados. But last year in Sweden was the first time it has ever been held on snow and ice.
The Race Of Champions was the first major race to feature electric racing cars with Tesla’s appearance in 2010. ROC is now well into a new era in its racing equipment, transitioning from combustion to cars powered by electric and fossil-free biofuel engines. This year’s range of mighty machinery includes the Cupra UrbanRebel Concept – an electric car generating 335kW and 510 Nm torque – plus the stunning electric Zeroid X1 rallycross car powered by QEV. The off-road Polaris RZR PRO XP will make a welcome return to the event as will the SuperCar Lites, now powered by 100% fossil-free biofuel.
You can watch the event LIVE all over the world on networks including SVT1 and SVT Play (Sweden), C More Max and Cmore.fi (Finland), NRK (Norway), Canal + (France, French-speaking countries, Switzerland and Poland), Sky Sports (UK, Ireland), ViaPlay (Denmark, Iceland), Ziggo (Netherlands), TV3 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), OTE (Greece), Cablenet (Cyprus), MavTV (USA), REV TV (Canada), Star + OTT - Disney (Latin America), Fox 3 (Mexico), Supersport (Africa - English speaking), Canal + and Supersport (Africa), Astro (Malaysia, Brunei), and HK-Cable (Hong Kong). In all other countries the live will be available on Race Of Champions' official YouTube channel.
The last few tickets for ROC Sweden are available from Tickster, but race fans are advised to act quickly to snap them up.