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.
Related Gallery2008 Race of Champions
[Source: Race of Champions | Image: Mark Thompson/Getty]