Reigning ROC Champion of Champions Sébastien Loeb and 2022 eTouring Car World Cup Champion Adrien Tambay will compete at ROC Sweden on the snow and ice of Pite Havsbad on January 28-29, 2023
Loeb, the greatest driver in World Rally history, will also race with Tambay for Team France in the ROC Nations Cup, battling head-to-head with motorsport legends from all over the world on ROC’s iconic parallel track at this stunning venue on the frozen Baltic Sea
The ROC 2023 field already includes Team Germany’s Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher, Team Finland’s Mika Hakkinen and Valtteri Bottas, Team USA’s Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust, Team GB’s David Coulthard and Jamie Chadwick plus Team Norway’s reigning champions rallying father-and-son duo Petter and Oliver Solberg
Also in action are ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, 2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich, IndyCar racer Felix Rosenqvist, World Rally star Thierry Neuville and five-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, who will hope to seal home glory for Team Sweden
The final ROC Sweden driver line-up will be revealed in the run-up to the event, and tickets are still available from Tickster
Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will join the reigning FIA eTouring Car World Cup Champion Adrien Tambay in the line-up for the Race Of Champions on the snow and ice of Sweden’s Pite Havsbad on January 28-29, 2023.
The news means Loeb will be returning to defend the ROC Champion of Champions crown he won last year at the same stunning venue on the frozen Baltic Sea – after prevailing in the Grand Final against four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel. That was Loeb’s fourth ROC victory, an all-time record he shares with fellow Frenchman Didier Auriol. Now Loeb has the chance to become the first driver to win ROC’s individual event five times if he can repeat the feat on the Swedish ice.
Ahead of the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday January 29, Loeb will join forces with fellow countryman Adrien Tambay for Team France 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’.
To pull it off, Team France will have to see off motorsport greats from all over the world, not least the Nordic nations who may feel most at home at Pite Havsbad, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. These include Team Norway’s reigning champions, father-and-son World Rally stars Petter and Oliver Solberg, Team Finland’s double Formula 1 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 ROC 2023 field also includes Team Germany’s Sebastian Vettel and his fellow F1 star Mick Schumacher, Team USA’s extreme sports legend Travis Pastrana and rallycross ace Tanner Foust plus Team GB’s 13-time F1 grand prix winner David Coulthard and triple W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick. Then there’s ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, reigning FIA Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich, IndyCar racer Felix Rosenqvist and World Rally star Thierry Neuville.
This means the ROC Sweden line-up features superstars from Formula 1, Formula 2, IndyCar, Le Mans, W Series, World Rally, World Rallycross, Nitro Rallycross and X-Games, with even more big names to be announced in the lead up to the event. All the racing takes place in identical machinery on ROC’s iconic parallel track, and the winners are decided by driver skill alone.
Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb is the most successful driver in the history of rallying. He also holds the records for the most rally victories, podiums and stage wins. But the roll of honour from his glittering career doesn’t stop there. This former gymnast has gone on to compete with success in everything from FIA World Rallycross to the Pikes Peak hillclimb and Extreme E. This month he took a record six consecutive stage wins en route to his third overall runner-up spot at the Dakar Rally, one of few remaining pieces of silverware to elude him.
Loeb’s record at the Race Of Champions is impressive too, having been crowned the individual Champion of Champions no less than four times. His first triumph came at Gran Canaria in 2003, defeating Marcus Grönholm in the Grand Final. He repeated the feat in Paris at the expense of Tom Kristensen (2005) and at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2008 against David Coulthard. Then he pulled off another overall victory in 2022 at Sweden’s Pite Havsbad after beating Sebastian Vettel.
Sébastien Loeb said: “I have so many good memories from the Race Of Champions, going back 20 years. It’s always great to meet up with all the other drivers in such a nice atmosphere. In the racing we have to adapt to all the cars, which becomes even more complicated when you’re faced with snow and ice in Sweden. It isn’t easy going up against all the guys from the Nordic nations who know these conditions so well, so I was happy last year to find out I still have the pace! It was a fun battle with Seb in the final, and I would love to go all the way again this year. It will also be enjoyable to join up with Adrien Tambay for Team France in the ROC Nations Cup. Here’s hoping we can pull off a French double.”
Adrien Tambay heads to the Race Of Champions fresh from winning the overall title in the 2022 FIA eTouring Car World Cup (ETCR) after a string of podium finishes and victory at the Hungaroring. The son of the late F1 grand prix winner Patrick Tambay, Adrien has raced in everything from the DTM to Le Mans. This will be his first ROC appearance and he is relishing the chance to mix with such racing royalty.
Adrien Tambay said: “I am very honoured and proud to be taking part in my first Race Of Champions. It is one of the competitions I enjoyed watching on TV as a kid. It is the only event that allows the best drivers from different series to compete against each other in a very special, sporty and friendly way at the same time. This time it will be on ice and snow, which is something I will definitely enjoy, so let’s see if I get it right against drivers who are kings of the surface. I look forward to enjoying these moments and head-to-head battles with some of the biggest legends of motorsport – including some of my childhood heroes!”
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: “We are thrilled with all the driving talent we have assembled for ROC Sweden later this month – and especially that our reigning ROC Champion of Champions Sébastien Loeb will be back to defend his crown. He performs at such a high level, he is sure to be one of the most feared competitors yet again, and no doubt he and Adrien Tambay will be a force to be reckoned with in the ROC Nations Cup. Now we look forward to welcoming a packed house of race fans to watch all the action unfold in Pite Havsbad on January 28-29.”
The Chairman of Pite Havsbad Group Tobias Lindfors added: “It’s great to have such an incredible line-up of global motorsport stars coming to our winter arena. Sébastien Loeb already showed us what he can do with victory here last year, and now we look forward to welcoming him back in January, and seeing how he and Adrien Tambay perform for Team France in the ROC Nations Cup on the snow and ice.”
Final details about the line-up of competing drivers will be announced in the next few days. In the meantime tickets are still available from Tickster.