The event will be one of Pastrana’s first competitive appearances since he smashed his right foot and ankle while attempting a motorcycle trick at July’s X-Games. The accident forced him to delay a planned switch to NASCAR until 2012 but this month he finally had the pins removed. The American won’t be able to walk for a few more weeks but he is adamant he will be ready for ROC 2011 regardless.
Pastrana said: “I'm honored to be invited to compete against the best of the best and represent the USA again this year. There isn't an event anywhere else like the Race Of Champions. The competitive nature of the drivers combined with our limited experience in the cars makes for a lot of fun and chaos. I've been injured most of this year and can't wait to get back in a car to prepare for this event!"
Since becoming the youngest freestyle motocross world champion at the age of 14, Pastrana has picked up an impressive range of silverware both on bikes and in cars. He has four Rally America titles and 11 gold medals from the X-Games, where he wowed the crowds as the first rider to nail the double backflip. Pastrana is just as well known for stunts including jumping out of a plane without a parachute and the longest ever jump in a car over water.
Pastrana’s record at the Race Of Champions is impressive too. In 2005 he made the semi-final despite a broken leg sustained in a freestyle motocross exhibition jump at the very same event. The next year he single-handedly took Team USA to the ROC Nations Cup final after both Jimmie Johnson and his replacement Scott Speed were injured just before the Paris event. He is pictured in conversation with newly-crowned F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel last year in DÃ¼sseldorf.
ROC race organizer Fredrik Johnsson said: “Travis is an absolute legend of the Race Of Champions – and a true crowd pleaser – so we are thrilled that he is coming back in 2011. We already know his mighty strength of will at overcoming injuries from his incredible performances at previous ROC events. Now we are delighted that he will recover from his latest spill in time to race with us again in December."