Jenson Button to appear at Race of Champions
By LJ Hutchins
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
McLaren Formula One pilot and British fan favourite Jenson Button is set to revisit the Race of Champions after a year away.
Button, who had previously been a regular at the event, is due to make his fourth appearance when it visits Düsseldorf, Germany, on December 3 and 4.
A schedule clash meant that the original venue choice, Frankfurt’s 50,000-seater Waldstadion, was no longer available and now the Race of Champions will be hosted by Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT Arena instead.
Button will be one of three Formula One world champions on the billing – with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel set to repeat their world-beating partnership on behalf of Germany.
The Briton made his last ROC appearance during the Race of Champions’ 2009 visit to Beijing’s Birds Nest Staduim – just days after the end of his title-winning season with Brawn GP. That year he reached the ROC Nations Cup final for Team GB alongside World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx and the semi-finals of the individual Race Of Champions.
Button said: “It’s a great way to round off the season and it’s always fun to meet up with old friends from all the different forms of motorsport. Apart from last year when I had a clash of commitments, I’ve turned into something of an ROC regular.
“It’s a lot of fun and everyone wants to put on a good show for the fans. In the ROC Nations Cup Team Germany had an annoying habit of beating us at Wembley so it’s probably about time someone managed to pay them back on their home ground.”
Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson added: “Jenson has always been a hugely entertaining performer in this event and we’ve always appreciated his appearances.
“The last two were particularly memorable as he came to Wembley in 2008 when he didn’t know if he’d still be driving in F1 in 2009. Then, 12 months later, he returned to ROC as F1 world champion. We look forward to plenty more excitement from him in December.”
The Race Of Champions is an annual end-of-season competition that brings together the world’s greatest drivers from all motor sport’s disciplines including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and NASCAR.
It aims to set them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery on a specially-constructed parallel track. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 3 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 4 December.
Three-time ROC Champion of Champions Mattias Ekström is also set to appear alongside Button, Vettel and Schumacher with RoC organisers promising plenty more big-name drivers to be added in the run-up to the event.
Ticket information is available on the event website here.