Only six days now remain before Michael Schumacher makes his competitive return to action in the Race of Champions, and the German motorsport legend believes the end-of-season spectacular will be the perfect blend of racing and charity.

Partly tempted by his support for the Race of Champions' chosen cause - the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders (ICM) - Schumacher cannot deny he is also looking forward to the camaraderie of the day and the unique nature of the event.

"I remember having a lot of fun," the 38-year-old enthused, reminiscing about his maiden RoC appearance three years ago, when he was defeated by Heikki Kovalainen in the semi-finals. "I thought it was a marvellous event, especially for the spectators who really seemed to enjoy themselves and cheered us all up.

"It was also extremely funny for us drivers, who got to know each other a bit better, competing for fun. I have only good memories of this event."

All the world-class drivers competing around Wembley Stadium this Sunday (16 December) will be helping to raise money for ICM, which carries out ground-breaking research into brain damage and head trauma. Joining Schumacher in the event - the first time in its 20-year-history the race will have been held on British soil - are fellow grand prix aces Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel and 2005 RoC winner Kovalainen, double World Rally Champion Marcus Gr?nholm, three-time World Touring Car Championship title-winner Andy Priaulx, 'King of Le Mans' Tom Kristensen, twice DTM champ Mattias Ekstr?m, four-time Champ Car Champion S?bastien Bourdais and reigning double NASCAR title-holder Jimmie Johnson, ensuring a star-studded line-up of the very highest calibre.

"I will race in London because the Race of Champions is supporting ICM," the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion underlined, "an initiative which I am extremely proud about being part of. To me, combining the racing and the charity is the perfect option.

"My part in this organisation is rather small, as the other founder members are extraordinary people, but I am happy to at least support ICM with trying to heighten the awareness about it."

Fredrik Johnsson, event co-founder alongside Mich?le Mouton and president of RoC organisers IMP, is a long-time supporter and delighted that ICM will be the official charity for the fourth consecutive year. Amongst the fund-raising activities, a portion of profits from ticket sales will be given to ICM, whose representatives are expected to attend. They will also receive exclusive signed racing gear from the drivers to auction, and appeals on the official TV broadcasting.

 

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