Germany has defended its Race of Champions Nations’ Cup title after Timo Bernhard and Rene Rast defeated Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves on the opening day of competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Following Sebastian Vettel’s solo triumph for Germany last year in Miami, Audi DTM driver Rast and Porsche factory racer Bernhard were tasked with defending the title at the King Fahad International Stadium.

Eleven teams were formed for the Nations’ Cup, with Germany topping its group with five victories ahead of Team Latin America, made up of Montoya and Castroneves, which qualified for the semi-finals as the best second-placed team.

Montoya and Castroneves advanced to the final after seeing off Team Nordic, made up of Race of Champions veterans Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg, while Team Germany breezed past home favourites Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Ahmed Bin Khanen of Team Saudi Arabia.

Rast beat Montoya in the opening heat before Castroneves took the second leg to force a decider, only to lose to last year’s DTM champion and send Team Latin America down 2-1.

The victory marked a record-extending eighth Nations’ Cup victory for Team Germany, with Rast saying: “It’s a great feeling to have won the Nations Cup, but Timo and I also had a lot of fun.”

 

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