The first-ever international motor sport event in the Kingdom is an important step toward its goal of regularly hosting top world sporting championships
Team Germany wins the Nations Cup preliminary event of ROC
RIYADH, February 2 (CIC) – Riyadh was off to the races on Friday night as the Saudi capital played host to the Nations Cup preliminary event for the Race of Champions (ROC), the first-ever international motor sporting event to be held in the Kingdom, in preparation for Saturday night’s Champion of Champions competition.
The eyes of race fans around the world are focused on King Fahd International Stadium this weekend to cheer the historic first-running of a heat for the Race of Champions in Saudi Arabia and what should turn out to be a rubber-burning sprint to the checkered flag for the Champion of Champions Cup on Saturday night.
Some of the brightest stars of the international racing world were on the tarmac in Riyadh, vying for a place in the history books by capturing the initial Race of Champions in Saudi Arabia.
According to the draw for this edition of Race of Champions, Group 1 included teams from Germany, Latin America, Mexico and the United States, while Group 2 included teams from the Nordic region and Britain and Group 3 comprised the Saudi, UAE and Lebanese teams.
Friday’s Nations Cup went to Team Germany after beating Team Latin America in the final, the Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA) announced on its official Twitter account.
The Germans – Rene Rast and Timo Bernhard – took home the cup after winning two rounds in the final against one by Team Latin America, comprising Juan Pablo Montoya, the Colombian Formula One star, and Helio Castroneves of Brazil, the three-time Indy 500 champion.
In the final’s first race, Rast beat Montoya, while in the second race Castroneves bested Bernhard. But the Nations Cup went to the Germans, after Rast beat Castroneves in the final race of the evening.
Behind the wheel also were the Kingdom’s own Yazid Al Rajhi and Ahmed bin Khnein; former Champion of Champions, David Coulthard of Britain; Indianapolis 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay of the US; World’s Fastest Gamer 2017, Norwegian Rudy Van Buren in his first real-life race; Denmark’s Tom Kirstensen; and a collection of other masters from around the world, including Khalid Al Qubaisi and Khalid Al Qassimi from the UAE, and Carl Massad and Mansour Shibli from Lebanon.
All events, including Saturday’s Championship Race, are free of charge.
This international motor racing championship race in Riyadh came to be through the signing of a memorandum of cooperation in London by the president of the Saudi General Sports Authority, Turki Al-Sheikh, and ROC organiser Frederik Johnson. It represents an important step toward Saudi Arabia’s goal of regularly hosting top-tier international sporting championships of all types.
For the inaugural weekend, the General Sports Authority joined forces with the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and the Saudi Federation for Mass Participation to pack the spectator experience with a variety of activities both inside and around the perimeter of King Fahd International Stadium, with a special emphasis on family activities.