12/14/07 Double NASCAR champion, Jimmie Johnson, has said he cannot wait to pit his skills against the man widely billed as the world’s greatest driver, Michael Schumacher, in The Race of Champions this weekend.
The Team USA hero, who has been drawn against the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion for the first round of The ROC Nations Cup, says he has the greatest respect for the European superstar, which motivates him all the more to snatch victory for The United States.
"Everyone recognizes Schumacher as a champion, and after winning my
second straight championship in NASCAR I hope I'm perceived in that way," said Johnson, who took the NASCAR title this season with 10 wins in the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “Beating him and helping Team USA win The ROC Nations Cup would be a perfect ending to the best year of my career."
Wembley Stadium has been transformed into a tarmac race track
The ROC Nations Cup aims to determine the fastest country in the world, with two drivers from each pitted against each other in identical cars. This year The Race of Champions is being held at Wembley Stadium, London, England, and the famous landmark has been transformed into a stunning parallel track, using 1,800 tones of tarmac, for the unique event this Sunday.
“I’ve raced The ROC before and did OK," said Johnson, who won The ROC Nations Cup in 2002 and is hoping his home fans will tune in to the live race coverage at www.raceofchampions.com/live on Sunday (16 December) from 14:00 GMT (09:00 Eastern USA). “My teammate, Travis Pastrana, was the unexpected success of the event last year, almost winning the whole thing single-handedly after I pulled out with an injury. That’s got to give us the edge this year!"
The draw for The ROC Nations Cup was made at Wembley Stadium yesterday, with the individual category being saved for a face-to-face draw at the official press conference tomorrow (15 December).
The ROC Nations Cup draw resulted in the following pairings:
|France||Sébastien Bourdais||Vs||Norway||Henning Solberg|
|France||Yvan Muller||Vs||Norway||Petter Solberg|
|Finland||Heikki Kovalainen||Vs||Scandinavia||Tom Kristensen|
|Finland||Marcus GrÃ¶nholm||Vs||Scandinavia||Mattias EkstrÃ¶m|
|Scotland||David Coulthard||Vs||England||Jenson Button|
|Scotland||Alister McRae||Vs||England||Andy Priaulx|
|USA||Jimmie Johnson||Vs||Germany||Michael Schumacher|
|USA||Travis Pastrana||Vs||Germany||Sebastian Vettel|
For your last chance to get tickets to The Race of Champions, go to Wembley Stadium’s East ticket window from 10am on Sunday (16 December).
Drivers taking part are:
Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher
Formula One star Jenson Button
Triple and reigning World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx
Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel
Four-time Champ Car Champion Sébastien Bourdais
Seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen
Two-time DTM Champion Mattias EkstrÃ¶m
Two-time and reigning NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson
Eight-time X-Games Champion Travis Pastrana
Double World Rally Champion, Marcus GrÃ¶nholm
Renault F1’s Heikki Kovalainen
1995 British Rally Champion Alister McRae
World Touring Car Championship star Yvan Muller
2003 World Rally Champion, Petter Solberg
Five-time Norwegian Rally Champion, Henning Solberg