Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bragging Rights

Text by: Ben Photos by: Ben

The Race of Champions (ROC) is a series that was created in 1988 with the aim of pitting the WRC champions against each other and crown the Champion of the Champions.




This shootout idea grew, and gradually top drivers from other racing disciplines were invited to join the ROC. In 1989, the ROC format changed to a parallel track layout, and has been this way ever since.

Drivers from F1, DTM, Indycar, MotoGP and more race series made their way to the ROC to get a shot at the title with only one aim in mind: to get the bragging rights of being the ultimate champion.


The event grew in diversity too, with the addition of more cars for the drivers to play with. This year, the cars given to the drivers were the Volkswagen Scirocco…


The KTM X-Bow…


The Audi R8 LMS…


The Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo…


The Euro Racecar (read NASCAR)…


The brand new Toyota 86, fully decked by TRD…


And the ROC Car, a 1.1L, 170hp custom-made buggy that tips the scale at a mere 450kg. Imagine what fun it is to drive that toy!


The 2012 ROC was held on the Friday 14th, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December in Bangkok Thailand, with superstars Michael Schumacher (F1), Sebastian Vettel (F1), David Coulthard (ex-F1, DTM), Mick Doohan (MotoGP), Ryan Hunter-Reay (IndyCar), Jamie Whincup (V8 Supercar), Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP), Tom Kristensen (Le Mans, DTM), Andy Priaulx (FIA World Touring Car Championship), S├ębastien Ogier (WRC), Romain Grosjean (GP2, GP2 Asia, F1) and Benito Guerra (WRC) lining up to fight for the title.


While the superstar drivers were to take the stage on Saturday and Sunday, the Friday was reserved for the ROC Thailand and ROC Asia. The former race selected the top 2 Thai drivers who would then compete in the main ROC event, while the later event selected 2 Asian drivers to fill the last entry of the Nations Cup.


The ROC Thailand was won by Toyota Team Thailand’s Nattavude Charoensukawattana and Tin Sritrai. These 2 drivers represented Thailand’s voice in the Nations Cup and main ROC event on Sunday.


ROC Asia was won by Team India’s Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, who completed the driver selection for the ROC 2012.


Thanks to Toyota Asia, I was able to fly to Bangkok and witness the ROC 2012 in person. In the following days, I will share with you how the Nations Cup and ROC went down, as seen through my lens.


Stay tuned!
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