David Coulthard wins the 2018 Race of Champions!
David Coulthard wins the 2018 Race of Champions at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 46-year-old retired F1 driver defeated a big group of active racing aces from all over the world on his way to the second Champion of the Champions title. Previously, Coulthard won ROC Barbados event in 2014.
This time, Coulthard has won the winner’s trophy in a fight against double World RX champion Petter Solberg. Two finalists were better than ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen and the 2017 World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson in the Semi-Final round.
“I had to work hard out there and my heart is beating hard now! So thanks to Petter for a great race. He’s a great sport and a great champion. When I went out of the ROC Nations Cup yesterday after winning just one race out of three my son switched off the TV because he thought ‘Daddy’s too old’ so I’m delighted to show him experience can be a good thing too… Today I pushed hard but it’s also about being clean. I touched the wall once over the course of the day but other than that I kept it on the track.
“It’s great to have been part of the first Race Of Champions here in Riyadh too. It’s been a nice atmosphere and the people in the crowd have been treated to non-stop action. So thank you to Fredrik Johnsson and his team for yet another great event. To be honest, I’m always surprised when Fredrik invites me because I don’t race any more, but I’m delighted when he does. The camaraderie with all the other drivers is special and we’ve had a wonderful welcome here,” a delighted Coulthard said.
Twenty drivers participated in the main event of the 2018 Race of Champions. They raced against each other in a range of identical cars – including the Vuhl 05 ROC Edition, Ariel Atom Cup, Xtreme Pickup, Whelen NASCAR, KTM X-Bow Comp R and the ROC Car – on a purpose-built parallel track featuring ROC’s iconic crossover bridge.
After Round 1 play-offs, sixteen drivers were split into four groups of four. Eight of them progressed into the knockout stages. In the quarter-finals, Kristensen avenged last year’s Grand Final defeat by putting out the reigning ROC Champion of Champions Juan-Pablo Montoya.
Coulthard defeated 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay. The 2017 IndyCar Champion Josef Newgarden crashed out to allow Kristoffersson an easy run through. Finally, Solberg defeated Sweden’s FIA European F3 runner-up Joel Eriksson to complete the semi-final line-up.