Race of Champions Will Be Held in Beijing

As announced by the Race of Champions organizers a few months ago, this year's event will not be held at Wembley Stadium any more. The new location will be none other than the very host of the 2008 Olympics, the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.

As compared to last year, when the F1 drivers invited to the show were given a few weeks off after the season finale before making their ROC appearance, the 2009 Beijing Race of Champions will start shortly after the last event on schedule, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 1st.

“We received exciting proposals from five world-class stadia, but after the incredible Olympics last year, Beijing's candidacy was difficult to ignore,” said President of Event Organisers IMP Fredrik Johnsson.

“The Bird's Nest venue is awesome, and having spent the last five years at two of Europe's biggest stadiums, we were thrilled about the opportunity to take the Race of Champions to Asia for the first time, to another of the world's most iconic sporting arenas,” added the official.

Since 2004, the Race of Champions has been the place where champions and leading drivers from all major racing series around the world (WRC, Formula 1, NASCAR or endurance racing) came together to battle for supremacy. Until then (from 1988 when it was first launched), the event had focused only on rally drivers. The ROC is mostly regarded as a good opportunity to offer racing fans a good show, as it's scheduled at the end of the year, when most series had already declared their champions.

While the first 2 editions of the ROC – under its new format – were held on the famous Stade de France stadium in Paris, the last 2 were switched to Wembley Stadium in London. The 2009 event will be the first time the event will take place outside Europe.

“Following last year's Olympics, we now possess one of the world's best sporting stadia and will continue to stage elite international sporting competition in Beijing. We are very excited about The Race of Champions coming. The stadium has already hosted the world's fastest athletes; now it will host the world's fastest racers,” said Li Jianyi General Manager of Beijing CITIC Consortium Stadium Management.
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