Race Of Champions — the end-of-season event that for 30 years has featured stars from various motorsports disciplines competing on temporary tracks in a variety of machinery — is switching gears once again. Event organizer International Media Productions announced today the first Race Of Champions event to be held in Scandinavia, set for January 2022. The new challenge will set aces from Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, rallying and more against one another on a specially-designed circuit built on the frozen Baltic Sea at Pite Havsbad, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle.
“After organizing the Race Of Champions in some of the most prestigious venues like the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing, Stade de France in Paris, Wembley Stadium and London’s Olympic Stadium, it is a huge honor to be able to bring our event to my home country Sweden for the first time,” said ROC President and co-founder, Fredrik Johnsson. “At ROC we are always looking for ways to put new exciting tests in front of some of the world’s top race drivers. In the past, that might have been a very tight track inside a stadium, but this time we will be able to build a longer, wider, more spectacular track. The event will be unlike anything we are used to seeing and be one of the ultimate tests of a driver’s car control.”
“After the event, we will keep the Race Of Champions track open until end of each winter season for unique ROC Driving experiences for both corporate and private clients developed in a long-term partnership with Pite Havsbad Group,” Johnsson added.
Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson, the 2020 FIA World Rallycross champion and 2019 ROC Nations Cup Champion, became the first to test drive the ROC Snow & Ice Track.
“It is so much fun driving around this ROC track, sliding the car through the wide corners. It will be a true challenge but I think all the drivers will love it,” Kristoffersson said. “Participating in Race Of Champions in Mexico in 2019 was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and to now be able to do it here in my home country is going to be even more special.”
The Race Of Champions was the first big international motorsport event to introduce electric race cars with the Tesla Roadster at ROC Dusseldorf in 2010. The ROC event in Pite Havsbad event will feature a number of the latest electric race vehicles. Details of the equipment to be featured will be announced at a later date, but organizers expect a number of manufacturers and teams to use this race and its premier drivers to prove their latest innovations in EV technologies in a sub-zero environment.
“It is important that every motorsports series and event continue to look for ways to become environmentally responsible,” said Johnsson. “We expect ROC to be a carbon-neutral race in 2022 and are working toward that important milestone.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 ROC, and the organizers have committed to organize the event in 2022 in safe conditions.
“We are hoping to be able to welcome a large number of motorsport fans to the event, but are committed to holding the event even if the COVID crisis is still not under control at the beginning of 2022 and we have to do it without spectators,” said Tobias Lindfors, CEO of Pite Havsbad Group. “We have over 200 very nice individual cottages for the participants and a plan in order to respect strict COVID protocols and safely organize the ROC event under any circumstances.”