ROC Nations Cup: Team Nordic beats Vettel and Schumacher

Team Nordic’s Tom Kristensen and Johan Kristoffersson prevailed in the 2019 Race Of Champions Nations Cup in Mexico City, after winning a nailbiting finale against German pair Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher.

ROC Nations Cup: Team Nordic beats Vettel and Schumacher

Team Germany had been aiming for a ninth ROC title, but the event’s joint-most experienced driver Kristensen beat rookie Schumacher in KTM X-Bows to win by a combined 0.8 seconds.

Vettel lost in his final against nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Kristensen after clipping the advertising barriers at the final corner and getting one of the banners wrapped around the front-left wheel of his RX Superlite car. 

But Schumacher put Germany back into contention, beating double World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson two-nil in the Mexican-built Vuhl 05 track day cars. It was the only time Kristoffersson lost a race all day. 

It followed Schumacher’s most impressive drive of the day. With his sister on board the RX Superlite, he knocked out Team Brazil’s three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves by 0.65s.

That put Germany through to the final at the first time of trying, after Vettel defeated Lucas di Grassi in ROC buggies, after di Grassi tapped a barrier at the final corner to lose by a second.

Reigning ROC drivers’ champion David Coulthard and Team GB stablemate Andy Priaulx were unfortunate casualties of the group stages.

Although Coulthard was handed a time penalty for twice knocking the barriers in the 600bhp Stadium Super Trucks, Kristensen prematurely gave up on his loop after spinning, allowing Coulthard to win by default.

After a pause for track repairs, three-time World Touring Car champion Priaulx lost both of his races. Too big a slide against Kristoffersson in the KTMs cost him victory, and then he too spun the Stadium Super Truck to lose to former IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Host nation Mexico entered three teams to boost its chances of a win on home turf, and ex-Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez and 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward enjoyed star maiden outings at the event. 

Despite a valiant effort to beat Kristoffersson at his own discipline, O’Ward was just 0.09s shy of winning the RX battle. Meanwhile, an impressive second loop from Kristensen overturned Gutierrez’s early lead to end Mexico’s hopes.

It was a competition to forget for both the Esports and French teams. Despite Pierre Gasly’s struggle to get Red Bull to agree to his appearance, he and teammate Loic Duval were casualties of the first round.

shares
comments
Volkswagen targets Nordschleife electric record with I.D. R

Previous article

Volkswagen targets Nordschleife electric record with I.D. R

Next article

Race of Champions: Home hero Guerra takes shock victory

Race of Champions: Home hero Guerra takes shock victory
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Prime

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 20, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Prime

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

General
May 2, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Prime

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be.

General
Apr 21, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.

General
Jan 31, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future Prime

Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future

International motorsport has been the preserve of weekends, but the pandemic forced Formula E to get creative with its Berlin season finale as four races were held mid-week. Should FE and other series break with tradition and repeat the experiment?

General
Oct 5, 2020
How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend Prime

How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend

Jack Brabham's 1966 world championship campaign in his eponymous car was also a defining moment in the career of designer Ron Tauranac, who would apply the same ethos to his ultra-successful production racing car business, Ralt.

General
Jul 23, 2020
The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars' Prime

The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars'

OPINION: The FIA has warned that the major motorsport championships must not get engaged in 'turf wars' when it comes to the urgent need to re-organising the 2020 calendars, but there are tedious past problems that must be addressed to satisfy all.

General
May 3, 2020