As, hopefully, some of you know, Race of Champions came to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford last weekend.
Race of Champions is an end of season event which pits the best of all the ‘major’ categories of motorsport against each other. The drivers start from opposite sides of a parallel track which swaps them over half way around the course (if you ever played Colin McRae Rally 2.0 think of the special stages, you know what I mean).
The Olympic Stadium made for a great venue, if you have never been there I highly recommend it! It looks spectacular as you come out into the grandstands. One cannot fathom the scale of the stadium until one is within it. The track itself was an exciting layout; not fast, the cars could only reach the top of second on the back straight, but very narrow and technical which made for some close racing. It would be nice to see some more motorsport there *cough drifting cough*
As I mentioned previously Race of Champions brings out an all star field of the best drivers from around the world. We (I went with my Dad and a friend, Matt) went on the Friday which was the ‘Nations Cup’ which divided the drivers into teams of their respective nations.
Germany fielded a team of Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel and current LeMans champion and Sahara Force India F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Australia’s team consisted of Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo and retired motorcyclist Mick Doohan.
William’s driver Felipe Massa and Formula E driver Nelson Piquet Jr were representing Brazil
Indy car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and Touring car driver Jose Maria Lopez were there for the Americas
Scotland had it’s own independent team consisting of David Couthard and Formula 1 test driver Susie Wolff.
England fielded two teams; the first was made up of touring car drivers Jason Plato and Andy Priaulx and the second was made of Jenson Button and the events winner, endurance driver Alex Buncombe
the cars used were matched pairs and were understandably suited to a tight track. a pair of Ariel Atoms, Radical SR3s, KTM X-Bows and Mercedes AMG Gt coupes were used. A pair of Euro NASCARs were also added to the group to mix thing up a bit although there was no where on the track long enough to really open them up.
Between races entertainment was provided by a team of FMX riders, a cheer team called ‘The ROC girls’, stunt drier Terry Grant and there was a demonstration by a 2013 Mercedes Formula 1 car which came out to do some doughnuts.
All in all I thought it was a really good night and enjoyed the racing, my only criticism would be the constant use of loud music in the races. With such a wide variety of cars being used it would have been nice to be able to hear what the drivers were doing with the different cars and, in the case of the NASCARs, hear a Chevy LS in an enclosed space!
Thanks for reading, hope to see you all again Thursday!