This weekend’s Race Of Champions at the Foro Sol stadium section of Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez F1 circuit will be run on a purpose-built “pursuit-style” track specially designed by rally legend and ROC co-founder Michele Mouton and ROC’s test and stunt driver Terry Grant.
While most ROC events have featured a parallel track linked by a crossover bridge, this year the drivers will race on a cycling-style pursuit track, similar to the one used at London’s Olympic Stadium for the 2015 Race Of Champions.
Each driver will start from a point halfway around the track from their rival. Both 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.
The traditional knockout format will otherwise be the same for both the ROC Nations Cup and the individual Race Of Champions, with tension building via quarter-finals and semi-finals all the way to the Grand Final when the last two drivers will battle for the ROC title.
“Our new pursuit-style track was a big hit when we introduced it at London’s Olympic Stadium three years ago,” noted ROC president Fredrik Johnsson. “The tight finishes it generates are spectacular, with the two cars flying towards the finishing line from opposite directions. The emphasis remains firmly on driver skill alone and the finishes will be as close as ever, with races often decided only by fractions of a second. The crowds at the Foro Sol are in for a treat as the greats of motorsport hunt each other down all the way to the flag.”
Practice runs begin today ahead of Saturday’s Nations Cup and Sunday’s Race of Champions. Both events can be streamed live at 2 p.m. ET at Motor Trend On Demand.
ROC Nations Cup Draw (Saturday, January 19)
Team GERMANY (Sebastian Vettel & Mick Schumacher)
Team MEXICO (Esteban Gutierrez & Patricio O’Ward)
Team INFINITUM MEXICO (Memo Rojas & Benito Guerra)
Team FRANCE (Pierre Gasly & Loic Duval)
Team BRAZIL (Helio Castroneves & Lucas di Grassi)
Team TELCEL MEXICO (Daniel Suárez & ROC Mexico Saturday winner*)
Team SIM RACING ALL STARS (Enzo Bonito & eROC winner)
Team NORDIC (Tom Kristensen & Johan Kristoffersson)
Team GREAT BRITAIN (David Coulthard & Andy Priaulx)
Team USA (Ryan Hunter-Reay & Josef Newgarden)
Race Of Champions Draw (Sunday, January 20)
David COULTHARD (Great Britain) 13-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
Tom KRISTENSEN (Denmark) nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner
Patricio O’WARD (Mexico) 2018 Indy Lights Champion
Winner of Round 1A between the ROC Mexico Sunday winner* and Andy PRIAULX
Johan KRISTOFFERSSON (Sweden) double FIA World Rallycross Champion
Lucas DI GRASSI (Brazil) 2016-2017 Formula E Champion
Josef NEWGARDEN (USA) 2017 IndyCar Champion
Winner of Round 1B between Loic DUVAL and Helio CASTRONEVES
Sebastian VETTEL (Germany) four-time Formula 1 World Champion
Daniel SUAREZ (Mexico) 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion
Benito GUERRA (Mexico) 2012 Production World Rally Champion
Winner of Round 1C between Memo ROJAS and Mick SCHUMACHER
Pierre GASLY (France) Formula 1 driver for Red Bull Racing in 2019
Esteban GUTIERREZ (Mexico) Formula 1 driver for Sauber and Haas
Ryan HUNTER-REAY (USA) 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner
Winner of Round 1D between Enzo BONITO and the 2019 eROC Champion