Eighteen of the world's top drivers returned this past weekend to Düsseldorf's ESPRIT Arena to contest this year's 2011 Race of Champions. Up for grabs was glory for each driver's native land in the ROC Nation's Cup on Saturday, as well as individual glory and the title Champion of Champions in Sunday's elimination competition.

The races are held on the 1.2-kilometer ROC parallel track assembled within the confines of ESPRIT Arena, and this year's crop of vehicles with which to compete included the Audi R8 LMS, Skoda Fabia Super 2000, VW Scirocco, KTM X-Bow, RX150 rallycross buggy, ROC single- and two-seat buggies, and, according to RoC's website, a Chevrolet-powered NASCAR Car of Tomorrow race car.
Unfortunately, Team USA, comprised of the ever-marketable Travis Pastrana and less-well-known motorcross and Rally Cross driver Brian Deegan, failed to make it out of the first round of the Nation's Cup competition on Saturday. They fared equally as poorly on their own as well, with neither amassing enough head-to-head wins on the ROC track to advance past Sunday's initial round-robin group stage.

If, however, you hail from either a Nordic or Germanic land, then you have all the reason in the world to be happy with how your drivers performed. Team Germany's Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who combined have won nine Formula One World Championships including the last two years back-to-back for Vettel, drove off with the Nation's Cup in front of the hometown crowd. It was Team Germany's fifth time atop the ROC podium, and they had to go through Team Nordic's Tom Kristensen (record nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner) and rally racer Juho Hähnninen in the finals to do it.

Schumacher and Kristensen were again forces to be reckoned with in the next day's individual competition to crown the Champion of Champions, and despite reportedly giving those in attendance a thrilling show in the semi-final when they faced each other and finished less than two hundredths of a second apart, neither ended up on the top step of the podium. Kristensen advanced past Schumacher, who himself had to go through Vettel in the semi-finals, only to run into first-time participant Sébastien Ogier of France in the best-of-three Grand Final round.

Don't know who Sébiastien Ogier is? Neither did we, but apparently the Frenchman is an up-and-comer in World Rally Championship, having racked up six WRC wins and contended for the 2011 title. He's earned a small spot in history for having beaten perhaps the greatest Le Mans driver who ever lived. Ogier also eliminated last year's rookie champion, Filipe Albuquerque, as well as multi-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx and DTM champ Martin Tomczyk.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't know who Sébiastien Ogier is? Of course we dont, WRC coverage is about as difficult to source in the states as bi-partisan compromise. Im sure this even will appear on Speed some random Tuesaday at 2-3 in the am sandwiched in between a rerun of Pass Time and Monster Jam
        • 3 Years Ago
        WRC events are pretty well covered on Velocity (2-3 weeks after the event though, but with 4 half hour programs (in a row) called Preview, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3), formerly known as Discovery HD Theater. Not in HD, and late after the event but still pretty enjoyable to watch. Ogier was Loeb's teammate this year and gave him a run for his money. He also ignored team orders when he was told to back off to let Loeb win, so much so that Citroen let him go 2 years prior to the end of his contract (even though he's been trained (and paid for) by Citroen for years to replace Loeb when he retires). He's now been signed on by VW who will start a full WRC campaign in 2013, but will use him next year to develop the car and to run a Skoda Fabia SWRC (lower class) to train the team on the events. Pretty awesome dude, if you ask me. Can't wait to see him go against Loeb in a Polo WRC!
      • 3 Years Ago
      "...and, we kid you not, a Chevrolet NASCAR race car." On which planet? http://www.raceofchampions.com/pages/common/RaceofChampions.aspx?pg=7438 Get your stuff straight Neff...this is getting sad...
        Jonathan Arena
        • 3 Years Ago
        so what exactly is a "world touring racecar"? Looks like a chevy to me...
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jonathan Arena
          Stock car, yes...but that is not a NASCAR Car of Tomorrow...it's an old Monte Carlo...with Michelins...some leftover thing that Nascar had nothing to do with. Probably one of the old cars Jochen Mass imported.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Brian Deegan was embarrassing to watch. He sucked and was proud of it. "Whoa I spun the car! AWESOME. WHOA I did it again! WOW 3 Times!" Three freaking spins in a 1 minute race. Ugh. Should have been Tanner Foust or Ken Block. Either of those two with Travis would be entertaining.
        • 3 Years Ago
        And then he almost pulled out right in front of Schumacher. I was yelling at my computer.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe u guys should rename the video, "Tribute to MS and SV"
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why did they put these sorry @ss drivers to represent the US? There are plenty of good drivers better then travis and brian what his name... They are just espn entertainers, not real drivers. And not to mention they are motorcross riders.. that do jumps. WTF?! are they doing in a drivers championship.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I recorded almost every race in HD: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3B607623F2DE9151 The World Touring Racecar was this: http://www.sunoco.fr/racecar/racecar-news-gb.html
      • 3 Years Ago
      You obsessively cover everything automotive and don't know who Sébastien Ogier is ? Try sticking with rocket powered Prius rumors and Toyobaru a thon and leave motorsports to....motorsports sites ! You guys are late as hell with your stories and they are a pointless afterthought of a space filler. Did you spell Sébastien two different ways hoping one was right ?
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is this ROC anyways? Wasn't it once a competition between the best drivers from different types of motorsports from different countries? Now it's just watered down to a bunch a drivers who are available to spend a weekend together trashing different race cars around a big go kart track for the fun of it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does the X-Bow have two steering wheels?
      David Avery
      • 3 Years Ago
      The aerial view reminds me of my AFX slot cars from the 70's. Where do I plug in the controllers?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Epic Schumacher Vettel Bromance.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pretty cool, I would like to see Tony Stewart in this some day. (He has open wheel experience...)
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