Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard clinched his second individual Race of Champions title in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last night, defeating rally legend Petter Solberg in a close grand final.

Coulthard topped his initial group before beating 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen en route to the last showdown where he faced Solberg, who himself had overcome Juan Pablo Montoya and Johan Kristoffersson to reach his first Race of Champions final.

Coulthard duly beat Solberg 2-0 in the best-of-three final to secure his second Race of Champions crown, following his maiden success in Barbados in 2014.

"I had to work hard out there and my heart is beating hard now! So thanks to Petter for a great race, he’s a great sport and a great champion," Coulthard said.

"When I went out of the ROC Nations Cup yesterday after winning just one race out of three my son switched off the TV because he thought ‘Daddy’s too old’ so I’m delighted to show him experience can be a good thing too.

"Today I pushed hard but it’s also about being clean. I touched the wall once over the course of the day but other than that I kept it on the track.

"It’s great to have been part of the first Race Of Champions here in Riyadh. It’s been a nice atmosphere and the people in the crowd have been treated to non-stop action. So thank you to Fredrik Johnsson and his team for yet another great event.

"To be honest I’m always surprised when Fredrik invites me because I don’t race any more, but I’m delighted when he does. The camaraderie with all the other drivers is special and we’ve had a wonderful welcome here."

Solberg added: "First of all, congratulations to David. I was doing everything I could to win it, but it wasn’t quite enough today. David drove very well and he has the right mentality so this was very well deserved. He’s a better circuit driver than me, that’s for sure. I still like to be a bit more sideways! But I’m proud and happy to make it to the final against such a strong field.

“I’ve been coming to the Race Of Champions for many years. It’s incredible to get all these great drivers together and it was a great atmosphere again this time. So thank you to everyone watching in the stadium and around the world. We’ve been made to feel really welcome and the passion from everyone involved has been clear. Fredrik and his team have done a fantastic job. I always enjoy this event and I’ll be back…”

 

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