Later this year, a collection of the world’s top drivers will be gathering to find out who is the best of the best and for the first time ever, the racing action will take place in the US. Miami is the host of the first ever American Race of Champions, which was first organized by Group B Audi driver, Michele Mouton.
Every year, the Race of Champions invites some of the best drivers in the world onto the same track and into the same car to duke it out in front of a crowd. The idea is to have two drivers (at a time) compete with the same equipment, so that only driver skill is tested.
The current winner is four time F1 champion, Sebastian Vettel, but his title will be challenged this year by nine-time Le Mans winner, and retired Audi Sport Team Joest driver Tom Kristensen.
They will be joined by other F1 stars (Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, etc), Motorcycle racers (Jorge Lorenzo, Mick Doohan), and NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, among others.
The race of champions first started in 1988 as a way to celebrate the life and memory of Group B rally legend Henri Toivonen, and was organized by his friend and competitor, Michele Mouton. From 1981 to ’85, Mouton was among the top drivers for Audi Sport, winning the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb in her last year with the marque.
The Race of Champions was first held in Mouton’s home country, France, and then was held exclusively in the Canary Islands (Spanish islands off the coast of Africa) from 1992 to 2003. In the late 2000s, the races started moving around a bit and was held in London, Dussedorf, Beijing, and Bangkok.
This is only the Race of Champions’ second time in the Americas. The racing will take place in Miami Marlins Park on January 21 and 22. Find out more at raceofchampions.com.