RoC: Button will be there

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarFriday, July 11th, 2008

 
 

Jenson Button has confirmed that he will be taking part in the Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium in December.

The Honda F1 driver competed in last year’s event, representing England alongside three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx.

Unfortunately (and, pretty typically, given their nationality and the venue) the pair were bunged out in the semi-finals only to see Germany take the ultimate prize. Quite why we expected anything different is a bit of a mystery now.

Last year’s big grudge match was presented as an England-Scotland contest with a jokey ‘war of words’ drummed up between Button and David Coulthard.

This year things will change. Confronting the age-old home nations sporting dilemma head on, organisers are going for two British teams, “leaving more options for potential drivers to enter.”

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel have already confirmed their re-attendance and will be the team to beat – although everyone is expecting to hear Coulthard will be there for a valedictory appearance following his retirement from F1.

Button said: “I never thought I’d be able to say I’d compete for my country against Germany at Wembley, but it was great to do that last year, and the crowd were awesome.

“As soon as I heard Schumacher and Vettel had signed up for Germany again, I knew I had to come back to take them on.

“Last year was the first time I’d done The Race of Champions and, although it’s all a bit of fun and we say it doesn’t matter who wins, I was gutted that we lost out to the German team.

“It’s the one chance of the year where we all get to compete against each other in identical cars, and I’m determined to help get Britain through to the final this time!”

Learn more about the event, including the cheap ticket deals that are on until the end of the month, by visiting its website here: http://www.raceofchampions.com/

2 responses to “RoC: Button will be there”:

  1. marc Says:

    July 11th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Oh what a shock, they open it up for an additional Brit team, at Wembley!

    Being one of those “nationalistic, and nasty Yanks, it will be interesting which NASCAR driver will be asked to attend and which F1/WRC drivers they toss to the curb dring the prelims.

  2. Andy Says:

    July 12th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Doesn’t sound that way – last year England + Scotland, this year two Team GBRs. Not seeing the extra Brits there anywhere. Personally I’ll be disappointed if they do merge the Home Nations as I always cheer on Scotland given the chance.

    But they always mix it up some – 2006 was in Paris and there were two French teams, while Travis Pastrana was the only American who raced as both his potential team-mates were injured. 2005 and 2004 both saw saw a “PlayStation” team of Frenchmen, a GBR team with two Scots, and a wildcard team in ’05 of an Englishman and a Spaniard.

    If this thing’s really going to take off it needs more non-European teams – maybe a NASCAR team as well as an IndyCar team of Andretti / Patrick, plus Webber and Power running for Australia. And who wouldn’t pay money to see Castroneves and Barrichello as Team Brazil – you could sell tickets on their press conferences alone.

    Stretch it over two days, with the Nations Cup on one day and the individual one on the second day, and you could have something that really works.

 
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