They don’t have this problem in athletics, golf or tennis. Those are sports where the best competitor on the day will win, period. Running shoes, clubs and racquets simply don’t matter as much as the human being attached to them.
Motor sport is different. With its wide range of different cars, Formula 1 alone throws up enough arguments about who’s ‘the best’ to keep the world’s bars buzzing into the early hours. Throw the World Rally Championship, Le Mans and IndyCar into the mix and all hell breaks loose. The title of ‘World’s Greatest Driver’ suddenly has as many candidates as there are world heavyweight boxing champions.
That’s where the Race Of Champions comes in, solving the debates once and for all. This annual event brings together the world’s finest drivers from all the disciplines of competition – on four wheels and two – and sets them free to battle, head-to-head, on the very same track in the very same car.
Better still, unlike all other types of motor sport, the unique stadium setting means the crowd gets much closer to the action. There’s no waiting around to see just one quick glimpse of the cars and stars – the whole course is permanently in view. The fans see every corner, every slide, every move, every spin.
For the racers, then, there’s no place to hide. It’s a knockout tournament so mistakes prove terminal – and the drivers have to prove themselves in a variety of vehicles. But there’s no blaming the machinery because everyone gets the same kit. Put simply, the best driver will win.
This year the event is being held on the 20th-21st November at the Olympic Stadium in London, as the ROC returns to the UK for the first time since 2008, and includes names such as Sebastian Vettle, Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Dooham, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Jenson Button.
The event has always proved a huge hit with motorsport fans, and previous winners include the late great Colin McRae, who was until last year the only British winner of the event, until fellow countryman David Coulthard lifted the trophy.
There is also a team event as traditionally the 20 competitors taking part are made up from 10 countries / teams. The reigning champions are Team Nordic which comprises of Tom Kristensen, and Petter Solberg.
For more information or to get tickets please head to the ROC website here.