Riyadh: David Coulthard wins the Race Of Champions trophy for a second time

Riyadh: David Coulthard wins the Race Of Champions trophy for a second time
  • 13-time Formula 1 grand prix winner David Coulthard has won the Race Of Champions trophy for a second time
  • Coulthard, who also took the ROC Champion of Champions crown in 2014, prevailed after a win over double World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg in the Grand Final
  • ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen and 2017 World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson made it as far as the semi-finals
  • Last night’s triumphant ROC Nations Cup winners for Team Germany René Rast and Timo Bernhard both went out in the group stages.
  • Saudi Arabian drivers Ahmed Bin Khanen and Yazeed Al-Rajhi thrilled their home crowds with strong racing on ROC’s first ever visit to the Middle East

13-time Formula 1 grand prix winner David Coulthard put in a stunning performance to eclipse 19 fellow superstars of motor sport and win the Race Of Champions for the second time on a thrilling afternoon of non-stop action and entertainment at Riyadh’s King Fahad International Stadium.

Following Team Germany’s triumph in last night’s ROC Nations Cup, all cooperation went out of the window today. The individual Race Of Champions pitted some of the world’s best drivers in a range of identical cars – including the Vuhl 05 ROC Edition, Ariel Atom Cup, Xtreme Pickup, Whelen NASCAR, KTM X-Bow Comp R and the ROC Car – on a purpose-built parallel track featuring ROC’s iconic crossover bridge.

On a sunny afternoon in Riyadh, the best-of-three Grand Final boiled down to a battle between two legends of motorsport. But in the end Coulthard saw off double World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg in two straight heats to become Champion of Champions for the second time.

Solberg had never been in the Race Of Champions Grand Final before. Coulthard, by contrast, won the Champion of Champions crown in 2014 in Barbados and reached the Grand Final at Wembley in 2008 when he was pipped by Sébastien Loeb. This time it was the Scotsman’s turn for more glory again.

Afterwards a delighted Coulthard said: “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. 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.”

Runner up Petter Solberg (NOR) is presented with his trophy during the Race of Champions on Saturday 3 February 2018 at King Fahad Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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…”

In the semi-finals, Coulthard beat ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, who has been the Race Of Champions runner-up six times and still awaits his first ROC Champion of Champions crown. The other race saw the end of a spirited run by 2017 FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, who was beaten by his rallycross team-mate Solberg.

Kristensen earlier avenged last year’s Grand Final defeat by putting out the reigning ROC Champion of Champions Juan Pablo Montoya in the quarter-finals. Coulthard defeated 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay to join him in the next round.

The quarter-finals proved an unhappy round for the American open-wheel specialists as 2017 IndyCar Champion Josef Newgarden crashed out to allow Kristoffersson an easy run through. Finally Solberg defeated Sweden’s FIA European F3 runner-up Joel Eriksson to complete the semi-final line-up.

The drivers were earlier split into four groups of four, battling for the right to take part in the knockout stages.

Montoya dominated Group A with three wins out of three, while Hunter-Reay pipped fellow Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves to the runner’s up spot in the group after a very tight finish in their heat. That meant the Brazilian – who made last night’s ROC Nations Cup final for Team Latin America – exited the tournament alongside Mexico’s European Le Mans Series Champion Memo Rojas.

Coulthard was the man on top in Group B, going through with a perfect record of three wins. He was joined in the quarter-finals by Kristensen on two wins. McLaren World’s Fastest Gamer Rudy van Buren failed to progress despite a fine win against 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Timo Bernhard. Following his victory in yesterday’s ROC Nations Cup for Team Germany, Bernhard couldn’t repeat the feat today and he also went out at this stage.

Group C was the tightest of them all, featuring three of the reigning champions from major motorsport series. In the end three drivers all ended up on two wins each, but Kristoffersson and Eriksson made it through on fastest lap times at the expense of 2017 DTM Champion René Rast, fresh from his triumph in the ROC Nations Cup. 2017 European F3 Champion Lando Norris suffered a crash in his first race and also failed to progress.

Solberg stormed through Group D with three victories, and he was joined in the final stages by Newgarden. ROC Factor Saudi Arabia winner Ahmed Bin Khanen won the battle of the home heroes against WRC2 Rally winner Yazeed Al-Rajhi, but it was not enough for either of them to stay in the competition.

Kicking off the afternoon’s action, eight of the drivers were matched up in pairs for a series of Round 1 play-offs. Yesterday’s inaugural eROC winner Enzo Bonito went out at this stage at the hands of fellow simracer van Buren. Abraham Calderon was defeated by fellow countryman Rojas while ROC Factor competitors Mansour Chebli and Khaled Al Qubaisi were also knocked out.

Earlier the drivers took part in the ROC Skills Challenge, a special course set up near the King Fahad International Stadium featuring chicanes, slaloms, 360° turns and parallel parking. There was an early triumph for World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson who came out on top, beating Juan Pablo Montoya into second place.

There was also a virtual competition featuring simracers from the inaugural eROC and some of the professional racers. Montoya’s team of Eriksson, Kristoffersson, Kevin Leaune and Brendon Leigh came out on top, defeating Coulthard’s crew of Rast, Newgarden, Enzo Bonito and Alexander Dornieden. The Colombian then beat Solberg in a simracing head-to-head for good measure…

Before the racing the drivers unfurled a banner in conjunction with the institute for advanced research into brain and spinal cord injuries ICM in honour of ROC’s absent friend (and six-time ROC Nations Cup winner) Michael Schumacher as he continues his recovery from his skiing accident.

Today’s action at Riyadh’s King Fahad International Stadium marks the end of ROC Riyadh. Keep up with all the latest news throughout the year at www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook and @raceofchampions on Twitter.

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8 hrs ago

MotoGP

Throwing it back to the #Moto2 race of the #BritishGP 2012 🇬🇧

Enjoy the last laps battle for the 2nd place between Marquez and Redding! ⚔️

#MotoGP
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I was there.....Brilliant racing!!

Very drunk day but remember the race. Loved watching Scott race. All packed and ready for Silverstone Thursday morning.

Fantastic battle 👍

I was there, great finish. Home crowd went wild when Redding got back in front, then deadly silent when Marquez had a look up inside on last bend, then wild again when Redding cut back across. Amazing stuff!

Awesome pictures!

Amazing

Very cool video MotoGP. More like this one please!!!

however Mac Marquez with his current performance does not have to be Marquez's best

Great performance by Pol & Scott at the end💪🏼..that was a cracker💥..

Very nice

Very nice

All these guys are big talents. Many riders like Pol Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Antony West & many more are great riders and capable of winning championships ( capable ). People underestimate these guys by their bad results, but really..top material is key in these classes, especially in the MotoGp class. Give them a solid ride and they'll blow your mind

Redding never got the ride he deserved.

2019, #93 is the winner..😋🏁

special suter chassis for marc and mysterious team 😉 after marc step up to motogp, this team directly disappear, nobody know where are they now.

Just shows how good Redding was but never really got the bike to really take it to them in Motogp.

Man, I miss Scott Redding in the padock "let's get it babi"

Muy buena carrera no apta para cardíacos 🤭🤭🤭

Forget just how good Redding could have been with a decent bike

now whrs redding? gone?

Nice

Nice to see maq battle for other place than 1st

Kaj mu je pa SCOTT REDDING naredil,šale in kape.😀

Bring back Redding

duel one on one in the final lap marquez lose .....

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11 hrs ago

MotoGP

The dramatic moment which cost Marc Márquez a shot at victory at Silverstone two years ago! 😱

The world champion's misfortune opened the door for Andrea Dovizioso to snatch the win! 💨

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Good Day all.

Encore! Encore! Do it again!

Unlikely to be repeated! Hope Dovi brings his A game though. 👍🏼👍🏼

Gave the rest a chance

So what's new?? Sometimes these kind of technical failures happens in Motorsport... Very rare that engine blow sky high to premier class bike.

Saya Mie Halim moh top fan sama sama

I love coming here and waiting for all the Yellow gob smokers.

I thought "the legend" was gonna win that day.. 😅

Was at this race, and that bike blowing up was almost as good as a Rossi win 😀

RAre footage for sure

Ah, I could watch that Honda blow up all day every day...

Alex Groenewold finger cross 😅👍.. voor komend weekend

#MM93 Come Back STRONGER! 💪💪💪😎👍👍👍

Fast forward >>>> he is the world champion!!

Wow

Wow

And finaly , the boss MM93 won the title one more time

Nothing can stop him not even a broken bike ! Simply the king of MotoGP !

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13 hrs ago

F1

Cue the celebrations, Bob! 🍾👏 ... See Less

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“As you can see, I’m a bit high mileage” - 😂 - Bob’s funny! What a lucky guy - I’d give my right arm to work for F1❗️

( •_•) ( >💎 oh! Preciosa insignia! /︶\

Must be an awesome feeling..I certainly Would love to work with f1 even if it was to clean a window.

Nice. Long time lots of great words over the years

Awesome to get behind the scenes!

I love the voice of that guy

Cheers to the great Bob!!!

Amazing. I remember this voice. Thanks.

More than 660 wow ! I mean that’s amazingly nice, being with the next generation sharing your experience & catching something new from them it’s a nice way. Good going Bob keep it up & don’t forget to change the baton when you still can... 👍

It’s nice to now be able to put a name/face to the voice. Keep up the good work Bob. 🎤 🔈

Bobs Brilliant we love Bob in our house 👍🏻

Love these little insights into the F1 community 👍

Amazing with the “carmen opera” music

Awesome to put the face to the voice.

Hey I’m a top fan again, but it is really cool to put a face to the voice. I never really thought about it till I saw this

Big respect for Bob cheers 🍾🍾

I now have proof of what he does when he goes away. He is my legend

I should celebrate with champagne too after being promoted to top fan for god knows what reason 😂

Finally we get to see the man! 🙌🏻

I always wondered who did the podium announcements and if it was done locally or in England. 👍

Thanks for the Top Fan position!

Never seen the man behind the legendary announcements !

Wait, what if he is the meow guy! 😆

Always wondered who did the podium announcements and now we can put a face to the voice

660 races and counting .....give Bob some champaaaaaaaagne!! 🍾🍾

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