Gran Canaria, Spain - NASCAR Winston Cup stars Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson teamed with 2002 World Superbike champion Colin Edwards to capture the Nation's Cup for the American team at this weekend's annual Michelin Race of Champions (ROC) here in the Canary Islands.
Team points are scored by each driver in head to head heats in either WRC rally cars or special ROC buggies competing on a unique and unpaved road circuit. The winning team earns the title; "world's fastest nation."
"The Michelin Race of Champions is truly a racer's race," said Herb Johnson, Director of Motorsports, Michelin North America. "The top drivers and riders from around the world, including some of the hottest rising stars, come here to compete," said Johnson. "The idea at the Michelin Race of Champions is to put the emphasis on the drivers and to open them up to different kinds of vehicles and different types of racing. They get to meet and compete with top racers from other parts of the world and to just have fun."
The Nation's Cup winning three man American team of Jeff Gordon; Jimmie Johnson and Colin Edwards successively defeated teams representing Brazil, Spain, France and Italy in head to head competition to claim the Americans first Nation's Cup. The runner-up Italian team eliminated teams representing Great Britain, Finland and Sweden to reach the finals.
The 27 drivers and riders competing in the Michelin Race of Champions included CART Champion Cristiano da Matta; former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack; JJ Lehto; defending Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves; Fernando Alonso; Renato Travaglia; World Rally Champion Marcus Granholm; and Enduro champion Kari Tiainen.
Now in its fifteenth year, the Race Of Champions was conceived by Michelle Mouton and Fredrick Johnson and has been sponsored by Michelin since 1998.