Mexico, host nation for the upcoming Race Of Champions, will have an Indy Lights champ and NASCAR Cup race on its roster.
Patricio O’Ward, the 19-year-old who stormed to this year’s Indy Lights championship for Andretti Autosport, will represent his nation at the January 19-20 event at Mexico City’s Foro Sol stadium. He will be joined by Joe Gibbs Racing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racer Daniel Suarez, sports car ace Memo Rojas and rally driver Benito Guerra, who won the Production World Rally Championship in 2012 and has gone on to compete in the World Rally Championship. Guerra is a Race Of Champions veteran, having competed at the 2012 event in Bangkok, Thailand where he took heat victories against MotoGP ace Jorge Lorenzo and World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier.
“It’s great that the Race Of Champions is coming to Mexico City for the first time next January. This is an event where you can race against the best stars of Formula 1, NASCAR, World Rally and so on – which means competing against some of the best drivers in the world, something that only happens here at ROC. I urge all race fans to watch all the action in Mexico, it will be great fun and super exciting!”
The first test of the brand new ROC track was also held today. This has been designed by Race Of Champions co-founder Michèle Mouton along with ROC test and stunt driver Terry Grant – and it will be a pursuit-style circuit like the one used at London’s Olympic Stadium in 2015 (pictured above).
In each heat, both drivers race on exactly the same track, but they start from a point halfway around the track from their rival. To rev up the tension even further, the two racers will start next to each other but facing in opposite directions. At the green light they will speed off in a bid to hunt each other down. It all builds up to the big finish – again approached from opposite ends – where there can only be one winner, often decided only by fractions of a second.
The Race Of Champions is an annual contest which has a history dating back over 30 years. It brings together many of the world’s greatest drivers from motorsport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, World Rally and Rallycross – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
The Foro Sol will join a list of prestigious venues to have hosted ROC since 1988 – including Beijing’s Bird’s Nest and London’s Olympic stadiums, Stade de France in Paris, Wembley Stadium in London, Miami’s Marlins Park plus a wide range of exotic locations all over the world from Bangkok to Barbados to Riyadh.