2018 Race of Champions preview: Riyadh is ready for the show
The 2018 Race of Champions will take place this weekend at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, bringing the famous racing competition for the first time in 30 years to the Middle East.
A programme of the event is similar to the previous editions, with Nations Cup contest on one day (Friday, February 2) and the main Race of Championship event for individual drivers on the second day (Saturday, February 3).
Juan Pablo Montoya, the last year’s winner from ROC Miami, will try to defend his title against plenty of superstars from all over the world. The list of participants is, as always, impressive, gathering in the same place the racing aces from open-wheel racing, touring cars, sports cars, rallying, rallycross and other disciplines.
Here’s the list of drivers, divided into four groups.
Group A: Juan-Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and the winner of Round 1 between Memo Rojas and Abraham Calderon.
Group B: Tom Kristensen, David Coulthard, Timo Bernhard and the winner of Round 1 between Rudy van Buren and the eROC winner.
Group C: Johan Kristoffersson, Rene Rast, Lando Norris and the winner of Round 1 between Joel Eriksson and ROC Factor Middle East Lebanese driver.
Group D: Josef Newgarden, Petter Solberg, Yezeed Al-Rajhi and the Winner of Round 1 between ROC Factor Middle East UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The top two from each group will progress to the quarter-finals. Then a knockout tournament follows, all the way to the Grand Final, in which the ROC Champion of Champions will be crowned.
In the Friday’s ROC Nations Cup eleven teams will participate, split over three groups.
Group A: Team Germany (Timo Bernhard & Rene Rast), Team Latin America (Juan Pablo Montoya & Helio Castroneves), Team Mexico (Memo Rojas & Abraham Calderon), Team USA (Ryan Hunter-Reay & Josef Newgarden)
Group B: Team Nordic (Tom Kristensen & Petter Solberg), Team Great Britain (David Coulthard & Lando Norris), Team Sweden (Johan Kristoffersson & Joel Eriksson), Team SIM Racing All Stars (Rudy van Buren & eROC winner)
Group C: Team Saudi Arabia (Yazeed Al-Rajhi & ROC Factor Saudi Arabia winner), Team UAE (Khaled Al Qubaisi & Khalid Al Qassimi), Team Lebanon (Karl Massaad & Mansour Chebli)
The winners of each group will progress to the semi-finals, along with the leading runner-up from Groups A and B.