Race of Champions canceled due to political unrest in Bangkok

2 Comments

There’s not much racing that goes on in December anyway, but the all-star “Race of Champions” match race event featuring drivers from around the world competing in five or six different types of machinery is usually a sure thing.

Except in 2013, as the event has been canceled. The ROC was set to take place in Bangkok, Thailand but will not occur due to political unrest in the country.

The ROC occurred in Bangkok last year without a hitch, marking the 25th consecutive year the event took place. But now event organizers will need to seek other options for resuscitating the event for 2014.

Lotus Formula One driver Romain Grosjean was the “Champion of Champions” in 2012 with fellow Frenchman Sebastien Ogier of WRC fame – the younger Sebastien compared to nine-time consecutive champion Sebastien Loeb – scoring the overall title in 2011.

Germany captured the ROC Nation’s Cup last year with the most successful duo of Formula One World Champions, seven-time champ Michael Schumacher and now-four-time champ Sebastian Vettel.

The 12 drivers announced thus far for 2013 included Schumacher, Ogier, Tom Kristensen (Le Mans/FIA World Endurance Championship), David Coulthard (ex-F1), Narain Karthikeyan (ex-F1), Karun Chandhok (ex-F1), Jamie Whincup (Australian V8 Supercars), Susie Wolff (Williams F1 reserve), Mattias Ekstrom (DTM), Fabio Leimer (GP2), Mick Doohan (MotoGP), and most recently, Red Bull’s base diving hero Felix Baumgartner.

They’d all compete head-to-head in matches that include the Audi R8 LMS, VW Scirocco Cup, Ariel Atom Cup, Toyota GT86, an ROC Buggy and the KTM X-Bow. A NASCAR stock car was removed from the machinery list for this year.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”