Motorsport took over Wembley Stadium today as stars including newly signed McLaren F1 driver Heikke Kovalainen blasted into the stadium in practice for The Race of Champions tomorrow. Eight drivers were on track this morning, including ...
Motorsport took over Wembley Stadium today as stars including newly signed McLaren F1 driver Heikke Kovalainen blasted into the stadium in practice for The Race of Champions tomorrow.
Eight drivers were on track this morning, including Kovalainen, who says he cannot wait to get behind the wheel tomorrow against fellow racing greats including seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, Honda F1 star Jenson Button and double NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.
"Like every year, practice was really exciting this morning," said Kovalainen, who won The Race of Champions title in 2004. "I would like to do more running but it's part of the game and I got a good feel for the track and the cars.
"I would like to think I'm very adaptable and you have to be because the heats go so quickly. It's better like that though; better to sort it out quickly and see what happens rather than hang around. It's the opposite of Formula 1 where you wait, wait, wait and then have one quick run before waiting again."
Triple World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx, was amongst the competitors practicing around the specially constructed parallel race track this morning.
"It's awesome!" said Priaulx, who says his favourite car was the Ford Focus WRC car. "The ramp is incredible. In the Solution F touring car you do a complete power lift over the jump and when you land there's a grandstand straight in front of you!
"I like the track; I think it's quite technical but faster than last year. The first corner is really quick so if it stays dry it's going to be great!"
Also on track this morning were Le Mans 24 Hour expert Tom Kristensen, SEAT WTCC star Yvan Muller, double NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, reigning DTM champion Mattias Ekstroem, 1995 British Rally Champion Alister McRae and X Games multiple winner Travis Pastrana.
"Everything is ok so far," said Ekstroem, who won The Race of Champions title in France last year. "I've tested all the cars except the Aston Martin. The grip is getting better and better and I'm really excited.
"To win The Race of Champions you need luck, to be quick and consistent. It's hard work because anyone can win. All the guys here are top of their disciplines."
This afternoon all eight remaining drivers will be testing including: Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel, Marcus Groenholm Petter and Henning Solberg.
The ROC Nations Cup will begin at 14:00 on Sunday (16 December) with The Race of Champions starting at 17:00. All the action will be shown live on The ROC website.