Two of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Chris Hoy will return to London’s former Olympic Stadium next month to take part in a unique driving challenge at the 2015 Race Of Champions.
The two Olympic greats will face a line-up of fellow superstars in the ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge presented by TAG Heuer on the evening of Friday 20 November.
They will take on a course specially designed to test a range of driving skills including chicanes, slaloms, 360° turns and parallel parking
The challenge is one of many shows supporting the evening’s ROC Nations Cup featuring driving greats from F1, MotoGP, Le Mans and more. Tickets are still available from www.raceofchampions.com
Hoy and Ainslie had the honour of being Team GB’s flagbearers at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympic Games at the very same stadium.
The two sporting greats have ten Olympic gold medals between them – six for Hoy in cycling and four for Ainslie in sailing. But come the evening of Friday November 20 it will be time to switch the bikes and boats for four wheels on the ROC Skills Challenge course.
Hoy is already an accomplished racing driver, having partnered Charlie Robertson to glory in the LMP3 class of this year’s European Le Mans Series. He is now aiming to compete in next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. At the Race Of Champions he will have a chance to quiz driving legends including nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and this year’s victor Nico Hülkenberg, who will both be appearing in the weekend’s headline ROC Nations Cup (Friday) and Race Of Champions (Saturday).
Hoy said: ‘London’s former Olympic Stadium obviously holds very happy memories for me ever since the Opening Ceremony in 2012, so I’ll really enjoy returning for the Race Of Champions in November.’
Ainslie, who like Hoy has retired from Olympic competition, is now leading a bid to bring sailings prestigious America’s Cup back to Britain, and has launched his own British team – Land Rover BAR.
Ainslie said: ‘I’ve always been very interested in motorsport, and we have looked to our partners Land Rover, along with Formula 1 and other automotive suppliers, for engineers and technology for our team. I’ll be hoping that some of that has rubbed off on me for the ROC; we want to put on a good show for the crowds next month.’
The ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge will be part of a busy programme of shows to be held at the former Olympic Stadium during the Race Of Champions weekend. With a range of stunt drivers, music, cheerleaders and more.
The Race Of Champions itself is an annual end-of-season contest which has been held for over 25 years. It brings together some of the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
The event is run over two days: first comes the ROC Nations Cup (on the evening of Friday November 20) when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. Then on the afternoon of Saturday November 21 it’s time for the Race Of Champions itself, when teamwork goes out of the window and it’s a flat-out battle for individual glory.
Drivers competing at ROC 2015 include F1 stars Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hülkenberg and Felipe Massa, Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, reigning World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, reigning Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr, British Touring Car great Jason Plato, reigning ROC Champion of Champions David Coulthard, Williams Martini Racing’s Official Test Driver Susie Wolff plus MotoGP world champions Mick Doohan and Jorge Lorenzo.
ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: ‘We always keep the entertainment coming thick and fast between the main events at the Race Of Champions – and we hope many sports fans will take this chance to see two all-time greats of British sport on Friday 20 November, which is now turning into our very own ‘night of knights’.’
‘When it comes to champions, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Ben Ainslie are up there with the best the world has ever seen. They’ve proven time and again that they are both more than capable of handling speed so let’s see how they get on around our special ROC Skills Challenge course.’
In recent years ROC has visited the Stade de France in Paris (2004-2006), London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium in Beijing (2009), Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena (2010-2011), the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok (2012) and Bushy Park Barbados (2014).
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