HDNet to televise ROC
HDNet will give U.S. racing fans an exclusive front-row seat December 3 as NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon and X-Games champ Travis Pastrana compete in the 2005 Race of Champions - Nations Cup, live from the famous Stade de France in Paris. The entire event will be available for the second year in a row to U.S. television viewers in the highest quality 1080i high-definition television (HDTV), only on HDNet, Saturday, December 3 at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by a prime-time encore presentation at 9:30 p.m. ET. [Editor's Note: Travis Pastrana will be a sleeper at this year’s ROC. He has been running pro-rally the past 2 years in North America with Subaru and has been quite impressive.]
The 18th annual Race of Champions - Nations Cup is an end-of-season international racing showdown featuring two exciting competitions. First, in the Race of Champions, 19 the world's best drivers compete in a series of head-to-head heats in identical cars to determine the individual "Champion of Champions." Then, in the Nations Cup, the same drivers compete in national teams of two in a bid to determine "The World's Fastest Nation."
Team USA is sponsored by Centrix Financial, who has chosen four-time NASCAR champ Gordon and five-time X-Games Motocross champ Pastrana to compete against top drivers from all the major world class championships, including World Rally, Formula 1, Champ Car, IRL, Rally-Raid, DTM, Le Mans, and GP2. Drivers for the other Nations Cup teams are Sebastien Loeb (two-time World Rally Champion) and Jean Alesi (DTM) for France; Colin McRae (WRC Champion) and David Coulthard (F1 Grand Prix winner) for Great Britain; Marcus Gronholm (two-time World Rally Champion) and Heikki Kovalainen (2004 Race of Champions winner) for Finland; Tom Kristensen (seven-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner) Mattias Ekstrom (2004 DTM Champion) for Scandinavia; Felipe Massa (Sauber Formula 1 star) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (GP2) for Brazil; and Christijan Albers (Dutch Formula 1 star) and Francois Duval (WRC ace from Belgium) for a first-time Benelux team. The final team is yet to be announced.
Joining those drivers in the individual Race of Champions competition are wild card participants Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car World Series winner), Dan Wheldon (IRL champion and winner of the 2005 Indianapolis 500), and Stephane Peterhansel (Eight-time Dakar Rally winner).
"HDNet is proud to be the exclusive broadcast home of the Race of Champions - Nations Cup once again," said Mark Cuban of HDNet. "This is the only event of its kind where top U.S. competitors represent their country against the best drivers from around the world. You won't want to miss the action!"
"We are very pleased that HDNet is returning to provide the exclusive telecast of the Race of Champions - Nations Cup again this year," said Fredrik Johnsson, president of event organizers IMP. "This year's race features another star-studded line-up of drivers from all the top class disciplines, so it promises to be an exciting event for all racing fans."