Sebastien Loeb wins his third RoC title by just 0.3 seconds. Michael Schumacher lost out to NASCAR driver Carl Edwards early on.
Congratulations are in order for Sebastien Loeb, who was awarded the "Champion of Champions" title after winning the Race of Champions over the weekend. Loeb, already a five-time WRC winner, beat out Scottish-born David Coulthard in a closely contested battle.
The Race of Champions is a knockout tournament where drivers from all types of race circuits compete against each other on a level playing field. Racing on parallel tracks, and each using the same car of five options, drivers go for broke to move on to the next round.
Coulthard, a F1 driver whose last win came in the 2003 Australian Grand Prix, lost the first race in a best-of-three behind the wheel of the RoC buggy, a vehicle tuned specifically for the event. The Scot came back in the second while driving a KTM X-Bow. Drivers could have chosen the Abarth 500, Ford WRC, or RX 150 for the final race, but decided to go back to the RoC buggy for the rubber-match.
The Wembley Stadium crowd was cheering on their hometown hero, but Loeb won the suspenseful finale by 0.3 seconds to take his third RoC championship. After the win, Loeb said, “For sure, when you are on the start line, you want to win, but with this event there is not too much pressure. It’s a very tight track and you have to give everything you can."
The RoC Nations Cup pits drivers from different countries against each other to defend their nations' honor.
Coulthard lost out in front of over 46,000 fans at Wembley. Of the experience, he said, “The ROC is a totally unique event, and it’s always a pleasure to take part, even if you don’t win. I think there were some very exciting racing, and there’s nothing quite like being able to see the whole track. It was a very entertaining afternoon for the British race fans, and I did my best to keep KTM busy by crashing a couple of their cars.”
Sadly, the Man against Machine event, pitting Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren Mercedes F1 against Olympic triple gold medalist Andy Priaulx on his track cycling bike, was cancelled because of a wet track.
Fans were also stunned to see seven-time F1 winner Michael Schumacher bumped out early by NASCAR's Carl Edwards, despite he and partner Sebastian Vettel defending Germany's crown in the Nations Cup.
"It was a good weekend for me,” Loeb said.