17 June 2014
RoC launches football-themed competition
The Race of Champions format will be transferred to two new competitions to coincide with major football tournaments over the next four years, it has been revealed.
Race of Champions have attempted to deflect attention from the ongoing problems surrounding its 2013-14 event by announcing that, in conjunction with Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena, it will bring motorsport and football together under the same roof at two all-new events to coincide with Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Cashing in on the current pre-occupation with football's biggest competition in Brazil, the centrepiece of the month-long festivities will be a race featuring past and present drivers from some of the world's big football nations such as Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain and Brazil. The format will be based on the annual end-of-year RoC Nations Cup, with head-to-head racing in identical cars, but seeing what happens when you take some of football's biggest rivalries and transfer them from the pitch to RoC's unique parallel racetrack.
“With World Cup fever in full flow this month, we are delighted to announce this new way for football and motorsport fans to join forces at the next two major tournaments,” RoC president Fredrik Johnsson said, “Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena already has the most successful public viewings in Germany, but now we're taking that to the next level, along with the host of other events throughout the month. We hope RoC Euro and the RoC World Cup will kick off national rivalries on the racetrack every bit as intense as they are on the pitch.”
The Frankfurt venue will also host a series of motorsport-related events lasting for the duration of the football tournaments, including a Fan Festival with entertainment, music and exhibition stands plus karting and drive days. The Commerzbank Arena will also become 'the place to go' to watch the big matches on a 400sqm mega screen inside the stadium, which is already the best-known public viewing arena in Germany.
“We are always searching for new event formats and with the new RoC Euro and RoC World Cup we are part of a new event development for our stadium,” Patrik Meyer, MD of Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena, added, “Motorsport and football is a combination that will excite the fans in Frankfurt and Germany. We are delighted to host those special events in 2016 and 2018 alongside our successful public viewings for the major tournaments in football.”
The regular Race of Champions was due to have been held in Thailand late last year, but the outbreak of political unrest has now forced the cancellation of the event on two occasions. The host for the 2014 event will be nominated in the near future and details announced in the coming weeks. Team Germany has triumphed in recent Nations Cup events, with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher at the wheel.
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