Race of Champions: Ricciardo and Doohan partners in Team Australia
Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo will make his Race Of Champions debut in London on November 20-21 at the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Ricciardo will be partnering with MotoGP legend Mick Doohan for Team Australia.
“It’s an honour to be invited to the Race Of Champions and I’m really looking forward to racing inside the tight confines of London’s former Olympic Stadium. It will be very different to what I’m used to in Formula 1 but I can’t wait to try out ROC’s wide range of cars in quick succession. It looks like a serious challenge but I’m ready for anything.
It’s also very special to be able to represent my country, especially as team-mate to someone like Mick Doohan. The word ‘legend’ is overused in sport but Mick is one of the few who genuinely deserve it. What he’s achieved is incredible and I’ve seen he’s a mean competitor on four wheels too. Now we need as many Europe-based Aussies as possible to come to London to cheer us on, then let’s see what we can do,” Ricciardo said.
The 26-year-old Red Bull Racing driver has achieved three wins last year in Formula 1 races, in Canada, Hungary and Belgium, and finished third in the drivers’ championship standings. On the other hand, his future ROC partner Mick Doohan is one of the greatest drivers in the history of MotoGP, with five consecutive championship titles from 1994 to 1998. Doohan collected over 50 wins in the premium motorcycle championship. All five titles were achieved with Honda.
The 50-year-old Doohan can handle four wheels too: he once tested a Williams F1 car and has proved his ability at six previous Race Of Champions appearances. In 2012, he won three races and reached the individual quarter-finals before he was defeated by F1 legend Michael Schumacher. He also partnered with V8 Supercar ace Jamie Whincup to the ROC Nations Cup semi-finals.
“I’m delighted to be coming back to the Race Of Champions and it will be great fun to team up with Daniel for Team Australia in the ROC Nations Cup. This is always a really enjoyable event anyway, and it’s fantastic to catch up with so many of the world’s best drivers. Of course having spent my life on two wheels I know how hard they are to beat but I’ll give my all and try to give them a fright.
I actually prefer the stadium-style Race Of Champions circuit like the one we’ll have in London. The longer track in Barbados last year required a lot more feel, and I’m a bit short of experience. But on a short track it’s about hurling the car round the turns quickly so you don’t need to be quite so refined! Either way we all know Daniel never stops smiling so I hope he can forgive this old biker an indiscretion or two”, Doohan said.
Along with Ricciardo and Doohan, the other drivers already confirmed for ROC 2015 include four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen, the reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg and the current ROC Champion of Champions David Coulthard.
Photo: www.redbull.com, www. speedweek.com