Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher is to come out of retirement to compete in the 2007 Race of Champions (RoC), as the end-of-season spectacular gets ready to take place on British soil for the first time in its 20-year history.

The gladiatorial-style RoC has been in existence since 1988, and Schumacher's return - the German previously competed in the event in 2004 in Paris, when he lost out to current Renault rookie Heikki Kovalainen in the final shoot-out - is sure to be a major draw as the event heads to Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 16 December.

"I enjoyed the atmosphere in 2004," Schumacher remarked, "both with the other drivers and in the stadium where the fans seemed to clearly enjoy themselves. I hope my participation can help the event organisers raise even more funds for the Institute for Cerebral and Medullary Disorders (ICM) which I'm one of the founder members of and the Race of Champions is supporting for a fourth year."

The event pits some of the world's greatest drivers against each other in a series of nation vs. nation, head-to-head challenges in a selection of track and off-road machinery. Schumacher apart, those to have so far confirmed their presence include Honda F1 ace Jenson Button and double World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx (Team England), and Red Bull Racing star David Coulthard and British rallying legend Colin McRae (Team Scotland).

Discussions are also ongoing with current Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton to form part of a Team Great Britain entry. Defending champions Finland as well as France, the USA, Scandinavia and two as-yet unnamed squads have still to reveal their driving line-ups.

Aside from Kovalainen, former winners of the event include DTM title-winner Mattias Ekstr?m and World Rally Champions past and present S?bastien Loeb, Juha Kankkunen, Stig Blomqvist, Didier Auriol, Tommi M?kinen, Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae and Marcus Gronholm.

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