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2008 Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium – Click above for high-res image gallery

Most of this year's major motorsport series are winding to a close. Champions are being crowned. Teams are preparing for next year. You know what that means: it's time for the Race of Champions.

The international event has been held for the past twenty years, and it always offers a real spectacle as some of the world's best drivers compete for top honors. And this year figures to be no different. Held for the first time outside of Europe at the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, the 2009 Race of Champions is set to take place next week, packed with an all-star roster.

Among those taking part this year will be newly-crowned Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, recently retired F1 stalwart David Coulthard and rising star Sebastian Vettel. Although six-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb – who won the RoC last year and twice before that – has apparently opted to sit this one out, perennial runner-up Mikko Hirvonen will be competing, along with Audi's multiple Le Mans winners Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro; touring car champions Andy Priaulx, Mattias Ekstrom, Jamie Whincup and Yvan Muller; Dakar winner Giniel deVilliers, Monegasque single-seat racer Clivio Piccione and Australian bike racer Mick Doohan. And finally, these United States will be represented by two of our very finest showmen, Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust.

This year, the champions will be competing for bragging rights behind the wheels of such varied machinery as the Ford Focus WRC, Volkswagen Scirocco, KTM X-Bow, Solution F Prototype Opel touring car and three different specially-equipped sprint cars. Tune in on Tuesday, November 3 – just two days after the 2009 Formula One World Championship wraps up in Abu Dhabi – for the results.


  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Former Red Bull Racing F1 driver David Coulthard of Scotland (R) drives during The Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Britain's Jenson Button (front) and USA's Tanner Foust take part in the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 13 times F1 Grand Prix Winner David Coulthard (L) wins his race against 2007 NASCAR Busch Series winner Carl Edwards (R) even after damaging his right front wheel on the final corner during the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Ian Kington (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Britain's David Coulthard (front) and Ireland's Gareth McHale take part in the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Sebastien Loeb of France competes against Yven Muller of France (not pictured) during the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Ian Kington (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • France's Sebastien Loeb takes first place in the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Sebastien Loeb of France (R) crashes into the barrier during his race against Yven Muller of France(L) but still wins the rac during the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Ian Kington (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Former Red Bull Racing F1 driver David Coulthard of Scotland (top) drives during The Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • German Sebastian Vettel (R) and German Michael Schumacher (2R) lift their trophy after winning the Nations Cup event next to second placed Sweden's Mattias Ekstrom (2L) and Danemark's Tom Kristensen (L) during the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Ian Kington (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Second placed former Red Bull Racing F1 driver David Coulthard (L) of Scotland and first placed World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb of France celebrate on the podium following The Race of Champions individual event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Former Red Bull Racing F1 driver David Coulthard of Scotland celebrates finishing second with cheerleaders following The Race of Champions individual event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • France's Sebastien Loeb celebrates taking first place in the Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008. The Race of Champions is an international motorsport event held at the end of each year, featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers. The race is unique in that it pits specialists from Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Le Mans and touring car championships against each other, head-to-head in identical cars. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Former Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher (L) of Germany talks with World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb (R) of France during The Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Former Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher of Team Germany wins the deciding heat to win the Nations Cup in partnership with fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing during The Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Drivers compete during The Race of Champions event at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • LONDON - DECEMBER 14: Drivers compete during The Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium on December 14, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)

[Source: Race of Champions | Image: Mark Thompson/Getty]


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