David Coulthard will be back behind the wheel of a race car in November when he joins Formula One World Champion Jenson Button and three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx in Beijing for the Race of Champions.
Also on the programme will be Red Bull’s F1 title contender Sebastian Vettel, World Rally Championship ace Mikko Hirvonen, Le Mans and DTM star Tom Kristensen and perennial winner Michael Schumacher.
Coulthard finished as a nailbiting runner-up in the 2008 event after a closely fought head-to-head with the World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb at Wembley Stadium.
Fans hoping for a win to cap his F1 career were left disappointed – but now the veteran Scot, who says he may be contemplating a spell in sportscar racing, believes that he can go one better this year despite not having raced for 12 months. Instead he has spent the season contributing to BBC Television’s F1 coverage.
He said: “The Race of Champions is always a bit of fun to end the season, but after coming so close to winning it last year, this time I’ll only really be happy if I go away with the big prize.
“Having the chance to race the newly-crowned F1 world champion will be additional motivation to dust off my helmet and focus on trying to win overall.”
As well as The Race of Champions, where racers battle for individual glory, Coulthard will compete as part of an All-Stars team in The ROC Nations Cup, alongside 2009 Dakar Rally winner and multiple touring car champion Giniel de Villiers.
Fredrik Johnsson, of event organisers IMP, said: “David has been competing in The Race of Champions for several years, and he’s a great character. He’s the kind of person who’s not only quick on the track but also a big hit with the fans, and that’s one of the things that makes the event great.
“As for Giniel, the winner of the toughest rally raid in the world, he’s shown that his driving is of the highest calibre, and it will be exciting to see how his driving style adapts to racing inside the Bird’s Nest stadium.”