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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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Bangkok | Race of Champions 2012



http://www.raceofchampions.com/

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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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Vettel confirmed 2012 Race of Champions at Thailand

Monday, June 11, 2012


Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel announced the first driver listing 2012 Race of Champions. This is first time to host Race of Champions at Thailand in Bangkok. Vettel first F1 driver confirmed for coming December event.

Sebastian Vettel has been announced on the line-up for this year’s Race of Champions, which for the first time will be hosted in Bangkok, Thailand. The World Champion is the first Formula 1 driver to be announced for the mid-December event.

Race of Champions visited in Paris, London, Beijing and Frankfurt, from the time when 2004.

“I’ve never been to Thailand before so I’m very much looking forward to having the Race of Champions in Bangkok,” Vettel said.

“I think it’s a great venue and hopefully there will be plenty of people supporting us and cheering for us when we are racing.

“Together with Michael (Schumacher), we’ve been very successful for Team Germany in the Nations Cup, so that’s still the most important event for us, but it would be great to at last get through to the final of the main Race Of Champions at last and win that too!”

http://www.formula1onlive.com/2012/0...champions.html
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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #3
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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:11 PM   #4
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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:11 PM   #5
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F1 world champion Vettel returns to ROC in Bangkok

Mon, 11 June 2012 (09:00)

•Reigning Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is the first driver confirmed for the 2012 Race Of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand
•Vettel will make his sixth straight appearance as he looks to extend Team Germany’s winning streak in the ROC Nations Cup
•The date for the 25th Race Of Champions has now been finalised as the weekend of December 15-16, 2012

Reigning Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has become the first driver to sign up as the Race Of Champions celebrates its 25th year of competition in 2012. ROC organisers can now also confirm that Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium will host the prestigious event on the weekend of December 15-16.

Held every year since 1988, the end-of-season contest brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 15 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 16 December.

For the past five years Vettel has joined up with Michael Schumacher to take Team Germany to victory in the ROC Nations Cup. Now Vettel is back for more – aiming to add the individual Race Of Champions crown to his 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 world championships and his growing ROC roll of honour.

Vettel said: “I’ve never been to Thailand before so I’m very much looking forward to having the Race Of Champions in Bangkok. I think it’s a great venue and hopefully there will be plenty of people supporting us and cheering for us when we are racing.

“I’ve been part of the Race Of Champions for quite a few years now and I really like it. Every year the atmosphere between the drivers is different to when we meet each other at the racetrack. It’s more relaxed, we enjoy ourselves in the evenings and we usually we have a very good time there.

“Together with Michael, we’ve been very successful for Team Germany in the ROC Nations Cup. So that’s still the most important event for us. But it would be great to get through to the final of the main Race Of Champions at last and win that too…”

The Race Of Champions brings together stars from all over the world. The 2011 field featured a total of 10 Formula 1 world championships courtesy of Vettel, Schumacher and Jenson Button. The line-up also included greats from Le Mans (Tom Kristensen), touring cars (Andy Priaulx) and the X-Games (Travis Pastrana) plus a host of other motor sport legends.

ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round the Rajamangala Stadium. Built in time for the 1998 Asian Games, the stadium has since hosted Thailand’s home football matches plus the Asian Cup in 2007. With a capacity of 50,000, the venue also stages athletics, pop concerts and even political rallies.

Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson said: “We’re delighted to have Sebastian back as we head to Bangkok on December 15-16. We pride ourselves on the driving greats we attract and there is no better place to start than the reigning F1 world champion. No doubt he will be a big draw for the crowds from Thailand and around the world.”

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...n-bangkok.aspx
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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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F1's greatest driver of all time Schumacher heads to ROC in Bangkok

18/09/2012

•Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher has signed up for the 2012 Race Of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand
•The legendary German racer, who tops the all-time lists for F1 titles, wins and poles, competed in his 300th grand prix this month at Spa
•Schumacher will partner reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in a bid to extend Team Germany’s five-year winning streak in the ROC Nations Cup
•German television station SAT.1 will broadcast both the ROC Nations Cup and the individual Race Of Champions live on December 15-16

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher will be in the line-up as the Race Of Champions celebrates its 25th year of competition in 2012. The German motor racing great – who has more F1 titles, wins and poles than anyone in history – will travel to Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, which will host the prestigious event on the weekend of December 15-16.

Held every year since 1988, the end-of-season contest brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 15 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 16 December.

For the past five years Schumacher has joined up with Sebastian Vettel to take Team Germany to victory in the ROC Nations Cup. Reigning F1 world champion Vettel has already announced he will be back for more – and now Schumacher has confirmed that the winning duo will be reunited again. The pair will aim to add yet more Race Of Champions glory to their incredible haul of Formula 1 world championships.

Schumacher said: “I have never raced in Thailand before so this will be an interesting addition to my motor sport travels. Of course it means Team Germany won’t have the home advantage of the past two years but Seb and I managed okay in London and Beijing so we hope it won’t stop us from keeping up our run!

“I’ve turned into a Race Of Champions regular and the event is very entertaining. It is not so much the competition which makes me come back as the fun and the time you spend with the other drivers. But racing in a stadium is sensational – and it’s a very different experience for us drivers to hear the fans so close. And of course we are all professionals so the moment we close the visor we want to win...”

The Race Of Champions brings together stars from all over the world. The 2011 field featured a total of 10 Formula 1 world championships courtesy of Schumacher, Vettel and Jenson Button. The line-up also included greats from Le Mans (Tom Kristensen), touring cars (Andy Priaulx) and the X-Games (Travis Pastrana) plus a host of other motor sport legends.

After recent visits to London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium (2009) and Dusseldorf’s ESPRIT arena (2010-2011), ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. Built for the 1998 Asian Games, the 50,000-capacity stadium has since hosted Thailand’s home football matches plus athletics, pop concerts and even political rallies.

Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson said: “It’s great news that Michael will be joining us again for ROC in Bangkok. He is the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time and we were delighted to see him back on the F1 podium in 2012. We’re proud that he enjoys the Race Of Champions and we hope fans from Thailand and around the world will grab this chance to see this racing legend in action.”

There is even better news for German motor sport fans as television station SAT.1 will broadcast this year’s Race Of Champions live from Bangkok. SAT.1 will show the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday December 15 and the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday December 16 – both live – so German race fans can watch their heroes battle it out at Rajamangala Stadium.

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...n-bangkok.aspx
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Old September 29th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Mad looking stadium!
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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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IndyCar Champion Hunter-Reay to race in Bangkok

03/10/2012 09:00:00

•2012 IndyCar Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will compete at this year’s Race Of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand
•The American took four IndyCar victories this season before becoming the first champion of a major 2012 motor sport series at last month’s finale
•Hunter-Reay joins a field featuring F1 world champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for ROC 2012 on December 15-16

IndyCar Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay has become the latest driver to sign up as the Race Of Champions celebrates its 25th year of competition in 2012. After a string of victories this year, Hunter-Reay sealed the title by just three points at last month’s dramatic season finale. The result makes the American the first major motor sport champion of 2012 and has earned him an invitation to Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium for the Race Of Champions on the weekend of December 15-16.

Held every year since 1988, the end-of-season contest brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 15 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 16 December.

The most successful American driver currently racing in open-wheel competition, Hunter-Reay is the only driver to have taken victories in IndyCar, CART, Champ Car, ALMS and GrandAm. Indeed, his total of 12 IndyCar wins is more than all his current American rivals combined.

Hunter-Reay enjoyed a mighty 2012 including a run of three consecutive wins, yet he still trailed Australian racer Will Power by 36 points with two races left. The American duly won in Baltimore to reduce the gap. Then in the Fontana finale Power crashed out before returning to the track to ensure Hunter-Reay needed to finish in 5th place or higher. After a nail-biting final six-lap shootout, he brought his Andretti Autosport IndyCar home in 4th to become the first home-grown champion in a unified IndyCar series since 1994.

Now Hunter-Reay has won the chance to see how he matches up against the best motor sport stars from around the world at ROC 2012. The field already features a total of nine Formula 1 world championships courtesy of German greats Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. They will be joined by plenty more motor sport legends in the run-up to December’s event in Bangkok.

Hunter-Reay said: “After a career best season culminating in an IndyCar Series Championship, I could see no better way to cap off 2012 than representing the USA and IndyCar, competing against the best drivers from other top level championships around the world at ROC. It has always been a goal of mine and I’m honoured to be one of the few invitees to compete in the Race Of Champions.”

Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson added: “We are delighted that Ryan will be joining us for ROC in Bangkok. He has had a fantastic season in the IndyCar Series and he proved his worth by coming out on top in such a thrilling finale. Now we’ll all be very interested to see how he gets on against the best drivers from around the world. He will also race for Team USA, which has a great history of its own in the ROC Nations Cup, and is overdue another victory…”

After recent visits to London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium (2009) and Dusseldorf’s ESPRIT arena (2010-2011), ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. Built for the 1998 Asian Games, the 50,000-capacity stadium has since hosted Thailand’s home football matches plus athletics, pop concerts and even political rallies.

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...n-bangkok.aspx
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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Schumacher: “This won’t be my last Race Of Champions”

12/11/2012 09:00:00

Michael Schumacher may have just two grands prix remaining in Formula 1 ahead of his retirement, but his career at the Race Of Champions is far from over. Not only will the German compete at ROC 2012 in Bangkok on December 14-16 but he is vowing to be back for more in the future.

Schumacher has partnered fellow multiple world F1 champion Sebastian Vettel to the ROC Nations Cup title for a record five consecutive years. But even if the pair extend their winning run to six in Bangkok, it will not sate 43-year-old Schumacher’s appetite for glory – and good fortune…

“The Race Of Champions is always a very special event,” Schumacher told ROC’s official preview podcast. “And this time it’s in Bangkok close to Christmas so I’m very much looking forward to racing with my old mate Seb for another repeat of our title.

“But my lucky number is actually number 7. So we’ve got to do this and then the one after. That would be the ultimate. Obviously this means I’m not retiring from the Race Of Champions yet. I could have retired from it by the end of this year, but I don’t want to. It’s too much fun. And as long as I’m still a bit competitive in it, why not?”

Vettel heads into Formula 1’s final double-header of 2012 with a 10-point lead over his only remaining challenger, Fernando Alonso. Now he is intent on converting that into his third successive F1 crown so Team Germany can head to Bangkok with an almighty haul of 10 world titles between them.

“It’s still too far away but that’s the target we’ve been fighting for the whole year,” said Vettel. “Obviously it would be fantastic but whatever happens I’m looking forward to the Race Of Champions. It’s always fun to enjoy time away from the track with the other drivers – not just from F1 but rallying, touring cars and all sorts of motor sports round the globe.

“We obviously want to win our sixth ROC Nations Cup but I think Michael will stick with me in the future because we’ve got to get at least seven. It’s a lucky number for him, so that’s the big number we have to achieve.”

The field for ROC 2012 includes multiple MotoGP world champions in Mick Doohan and Jorge Lorenzo, plus the reigning title-holders from Indycar (Ryan Hunter-Reay) and V8 Supercars (Jamie Whincup). But if anyone thinks the German pair might take their eye off the ball when it comes to number six, Schumacher is happy to put them straight, adding: “I want to take them all down, very clear. Watch out…”

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...champions.aspx
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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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Vettel and Lorenzo go head-to-head at ROC

07/12/2012 08:30:00


The reigning world champions on four wheels and two will battle at ROC 2012 in Bangkok as F1’s Sebastian Vettel races MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo
Seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher will line up against 2012 IndyCar Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay
Team Germany begins its ROC Nations Cup defence against Team Australia, Team Asia and home heroes Team Thailand

The stage is set for a thrilling Race Of Champions following the draw for the opening group stages of the event on December 14-16 at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium.

The Race Of Champions, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.

For the individual Race Of Champions on December 16 the drivers are split into groups of four for a round-robin first stage. The top two in each group earn the right to participate in the knockout stages. Now, following today’s draw at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium led by Kanokphand Chulakasem, Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, this year’s star drivers have discovered who awaits them.

There will be a mouth-watering battle between the world’s best racers on four wheels and two as 2012 Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel goes up against 2012 MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo and 500cc MotoGP legend Mick Doohan. Other highlights include seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher duelling against 2012 IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.


Race Of Champions (Sunday December 16)

Group A

Sébastien OGIER, WRC star and reigning ROC ‘Champion of Champions’
Jamie WHINCUP, V8 Supercar Champion 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008
David COULTHARD, 13 Formula 1 grand prix victories
Benito GUERRA, Production World Rally Champion 2012

Group B

Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
ROC Asia 1, top non-Thailand competitor from ROC Asia
ROC Thailand 1, winner of ROC Thailand

Group C

Sebastian VETTEL, Formula 1 World Champion 2012, 2011, 2010
Jorge LORENZO, MotoGP World Champion 2012, 2010
Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion
ROC Thailand 2, runner-up from ROC Thailand

Group D

Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
Ryan HUNTER-REAY, IndyCar Series Champion 2012
ROC Asia 2, second-placed non-Thailand competitor from ROC Asia
Romain GROSJEAN, three Formula 1 podiums in 2012


Before Sunday’s Race Of Champions, drivers team up for the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday 15 December. Schumacher and Vettel have taken an incredible five straight titles together for Team Germany – but to reach this year’s semi-finals the favourites will first have to negotiate a group featuring Team Australia, Team Asia and hosts Team Thailand.


ROC Nations Cup (Saturday December 15)

Group A

Team France (Sébastien OGIER & Romain GROSJEAN)
Team Great Britain (David COULTHARD & Andy PRIAULX)
Team Americas (Ryan HUNTER-REAY & Benito GUERRA)
Team All Stars (Tom KRISTENSEN & Jorge LORENZO)

Group B

Team Germany (Michael SCHUMACHER & Sebastian VETTEL)
Team Thailand (The two finalists from ROC Thailand)
Team Australia (Mick DOOHAN & Jamie WHINCUP)
Team Asia (The leading ROC Asia team other than Thailand)


Ahead of the two main feature events, there will be two special races on Friday 14 December. First, the best drivers from the host nation will battle it out for the ROC Thailand crown.

The two finalists will then represent Team Thailand in the first ever ROC Asia against Team India (Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok), Team China (Han Han and Ho-Pin Tung) and Toyota Team Gazoo Japan (Kazuya Ohshima and Takuto Iguchi). Both Team Thailand as host nation and the best-placed other ROC Asia team will progress to the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday.

Along with the stellar driver line-up, the Race Of Champions features a wide array of vehicles including the powerful Audi R8 LMS, VW Scirocco, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo and the Toyota GT86. They will run alongside ROC favourites including the ROC car, KTM X-Bow and Euro Racecar.

Live coverage of the event will be available on television via a range of outlets round the world, including SAT1 in Germany, Motors TV throughout Europe, Al Jazeera in the Middle East, Fox in Latin America and Brazil, Fox Sports in Australia, the Sony Entertainment Network in India, Super Sport in Africa plus many more. Please check local listings for exact details of broadcast times.

Tickets are still available. For further information and access to high-resolution imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...ad-at-roc.aspx







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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #11
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Old December 10th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #12
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Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion
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Old December 11th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #13
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #14
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #16
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:42 AM   #17
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #18
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Team Germany win sixth ROC Nations Cup

15/12/2012 15:52:00

Team Germany's Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel added to their incredible run of success by winning their sixth consecutive ROC Nations Cup title in Bangkok.

On another hot evening in the Thai capital, legends from many of the world's biggest motor sport series teamed up in pairs to battle for national pride. They raced a mix of cars – including the Audi R8 LMS, VW Scirocco, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo and the Toyota GT86 – on a purpose-built parallel track at the Rajamangala Stadium.
To cap off a busy night of action, Schumacher and Vettel prevailed in the Grand Final against Team France's Sébastien Ogier and Romain Grosjean. First Schumacher defeated Grosjean then Vettel beat rally ace Ogier in the 'battle of the Sebs'.

The result meant that the German duo took an incredible ten wins out of ten on the night, matching their combined total of F1 world championships. They have now extended their record of ROC Nations Cup titles to six in a row too.

Schumacher said: “This is a historic day. It was already very special to win five times in a row but this new record just feels great. The Race Of Champions is a nice event with a nice set-up, there are great guys here and tough competition. We were pretty scared of the guys on Team France but in the end they lost time in the final heats so we were lucky to be consistent the whole way through.”

Vettel added: “Even Michael hasn’t managed six titles in a row before so this is something special. Six years is a long time and now we can look back and know we’ve won for the last six years. We all love coming here as it’s a special event. It’s a privilege and an honour to race with these guys. There’s one thing that connects us all, which is racing. Now I can look forward to tomorrow and hopefully stay in the competition as long as possible. I’ve tried that for the last five years and haven’t succeeded yet so it would be nice to put my name on that trophy too.”

Beaten finalists Team France also had a fine evening, topping their group before defeating Team All Stars (Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen and MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo) by two heats to nil in the semi-final.

Grosjean admitted: “We knew going up against Team Germany was the toughest moment of the evening. But we fought as well as we could with what we had in our hands. Last year we reached the semi-final, this year the final. Now the next step is to be on the top of the podium. They want to go for seven next year but we want to go for our first one in the future. For now it’s great to have brought the blue, white and red flag to the final.”

Reigning individual Champion of Champions Ogier said: “First I want to congratulate Team Germany because six victories in a row is a great result. We tried our best but they were very strong. We will try to do better next time. First I will do my best to retain the individual Race Of Champions title tomorrow but I know it will be tough.”

In the semi-finals Team Germany beat Team Australia's Jamie Whincup and Mick Doohan by two heats to nil. They had earlier sailed through their Group B with six wins out of six to kick off their perfect night. Team Australia joined them in the semi-finals with three victories: two for Whincup, one for Doohan.
Following their triumph in yesterday's ROC Asia, Team India's Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok failed to make it beyond the group stages this time. They took a win apiece but it wasn't enough against the might of Germany and Australia.
Host nation Team Thailand (Nattavude Charoensukawattana and Tin Sritrai) fought hard but they were unable to progress beyond the group stages. Sritrai nonetheless gave the home fans something to cheer with victory over Doohan.

Earlier in the evening, Team France (four wins) and Team All Stars (three wins) both progressed through the round-robin Group A to line up a best-of-three semi-final. Lorenzo memorably proved his two-wheeled skill extends to four wheels by defeating touring car great Andy Priaulx in one of the heats.

Team Americas were unlucky to miss out on qualification on countback of fastest times as they also ended up with three wins courtesy of Benito Guerra (2) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (1). Team Great Britain (Priaulx and David Coulthard) missed a semi-final spot after both fell foul of penalties for touching the barriers – though they still took one win each.
There is plenty more action to come in Bangkok on Sunday as the drivers will put their friendships aside and go it alone in the individual Race Of Champions.

Coverage of tomorrow's finale will be available on television all over the world. Stations showing ROC live include SAT1 in Germany, Motors TV around Europe, Al Jazeera in the Middle East, Fox in Latin America and Brazil, Speed TV in Australia, the Sony Entertainment Network in India, PPTV and Euro Soccer channel in China, Super Sport in Africa plus many more. Please check local listings for exact details of broadcast times.

Tickets are still available for this weekend's action. For a live results feed and access to high-resolution imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.
Race Of Champions Draw (Sunday December 16)
Group A
Sébastien OGIER, WRC star and reigning ROC 'Champion of Champions'

Jamie WHINCUP, V8 Supercar Champion 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008

David COULTHARD, 13 Formula 1 grand prix victories

Benito GUERRA, Production World Rally Champion 2012
Group B
Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner

Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion

Ho-Pin TUNG, fastest qualifier from ROC Asia

Nattavude CHAROENSUKAWATTANA, winner of ROC Thailand
Group C
Sebastian VETTEL, Formula 1 World Champion 2012, 2011, 2010

Jorge LORENZO, MotoGP World Champion 2012, 2010

Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion

Tin SRITRAI, runner-up from ROC Thailand
Group D
Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion

Ryan HUNTER-REAY, IndyCar Series Champion 2012

Kazuya OHSHIMA, second fastest qualifier from ROC Asia

Romain GROSJEAN, three Formula 1 podiums in 2012

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...tions-cup.aspx

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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #19
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Grosjean crowned 2012 Champion of Champions

16/12/2012 15:52:00

French Formula 1 star Romain Grosjean put in a stunning performance to eclipse 15 fellow superstars of motorsport and win the Race Of Champions on an evening of thrills at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium.

Following Team Germany's victory over Team France in last night's ROC Nations Cup, the Race Of Champions pitted many of the biggest names in motorsport against each other in head-to-head combat in a variety of different cars.

In the end Grosjean overcame Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen in the best-of-three Grand Final to become Champion of Champions for the first time. Kristensen, who also reached the final last year, was chasing his own first individual Race Of Champions title at the 12th attempt. But he was thwarted by the young Frenchman, who won both heats to seal glory.

Grosjean said: “That’s what I’d call a crazy day! It got a bit tough in the group stages but I managed to make it through. Then I had to face Sebastian Vettel in the quarter-final before Michael Schumacher in the semi-final – the two Germans who beat us in yesterday’s ROC Nations Cup final. Then I had the final with Tom. We’ve had a good history at this event and I’ve raced him before so it was good to face him in the final. I got a bit of extra luck to be in the right car at the right time but it felt good.

"It’s been a tough end to the F1 season but I finally got back on the podium yesterday, and now this! It’s great to get this win before I head off for a holiday. Thanks to everyone in Thailand because the welcome has been fantastic.”

Beaten finalist Kristensen has competed in 12 Race Of Champions events, more than anyone else in the field. The 45-year-old Dane nonetheless hopes to be back for more.

“This was the 25th year of the race and Romain is a deserving winner," said Kristensen. "He had a very good Sunday – and I’m getting closer every year! It was a small gap between us in each of the heats and I made small mistakes but that’s the challenge of the Race Of Champions: to jump into different cars. Earlier I had a pretty fun run in the Audi against Ogier. I believe that was the fastest lap of the weekend so that’s what I’ll take away. Even though I’m a bit more than 25 years old like Romain, it shows I’m still pretty fast if I’m in a good car.

This has been the warmest Race Of Champions I have competed in – both literally and thanks to the people who welcomed us and enjoyed having us here. I’m still young so maybe one day I’ll get the chance to win it!”

Michael Schumacher seemed to be continuing where he left off last night as he went undefeated until the semi-final stage. There he came up against an inspired Grosjean and his quest for the individual ROC title faltered again. Schumacher's fellow F1 old-timer David Coulthard was beaten by Kristensen in the other semi-final.

After sharing in Schumacher's success last night, 2012 F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel was eliminated in the individual quarter-finals for the second year in a row, also by Grosjean. Facing a tight battle, Vettel made a mistake and hit the barrier hard.

Another big scalp at the quarter-final stage was last year's Champion of Champions Sébastien Ogier, beaten by Kristensen in a reverse of the result of last year's Grand Final. Coulthard defeated China's Ho-Pin Tung while Schumacher overcame 500cc MotoGP legend Mick Doohan in the other quarter-finals.

To start the evening the drivers were split into four groups of four, battling for the right to line up in the knockout stages.

Reigning champion Ogier began in dominant fashion, taking three wins out of three in Group A. Coulthard also progressed thanks to his two wins against V8 Supercar king Jamie Whincup and Production World Rally Champion Benito Guerra. Whincup beat Guerra but neither driver made it any further.

Tung was the surprise package of Group B. After falling to an initial defeat against touring car great Andy Priaulx, the Chinese driver recovered to top the group, beating Kristensen and home favourite Nattavude Charoensukawattana. The Thai prompted one of the night's biggest cheers when he defeated Priaulx, meaning the last quarter-final berth was decided by a shootout between Kristensen and Priaulx.

That went to the Dane after Priaulx went off into the barriers.
Vettel made a predictably strong start, romping to three wins out of three including a victory over 2012 MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Group C also included another legend of two wheels in Doohan, who defeated Lorenzo in their heat. The Thai crowd went wild as Tin Sritrai beat Lorenzo and crossed the line ahead of Doohan, only to miss out on qualification due to a time penalty.

Schumacher and Grosjean both progressed comfortably from Group D – but it was the German who came out on top this time to keep his undefeated record intact with three wins to Grosjean's two. 2012 IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay took a single victory against Kazuya Ohshima, Japan's qualifier from ROC Asia, but it wasn't enough to keep the American in the competition.

Grosjean's triumph marks the end of the 2012 Race Of Champions.

http://www.raceofchampions.com/News/...champions.aspx

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