Whincup to take on Kristensen, Priaulx in Race of Champions

Tom Kristensen and Andy Priaulx

Tom Kristensen and Andy Priaulx

V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup will be able to benchmark himself against the best Sportscar and touring car drivers in the world when he competes in the Race of Champions in Bangkok next month.

Eight-times Le Mans 24 Hour winner Tom Kristensen and three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will join the roll call of legends heading to the annual event.

Denmark’s Kristensen is acknowledged as the finest endurance racer in motor sport history, and also has an impressive Race of Champions record too, having appeared at every event since 2001. He finished runner-up in both the Nations Cup and the individual races last year.

“It was a great experience to make it to both finals last year,” he said.

“The Race Of Champions is always fun anyway. When you arrive, you can tell that very passionate people put on this event. We see people from all types of motor sport, there’s a great camaraderie and then we put on our helmets and race all these different cars, which is always a great challenge. There is no better way to end the season.”

Priaulx is the World Touring Car Championship’s most successful driver with three titles plus another in its previous guise as the European Touring Car Championship. The BMW driver switched to the DTM series this year and will also be able to draw on a solid ROC track record. He has made the individual semi-finals three times and took Team GB to the ROC Nations Cup final in 2009 and 2010, only to be defeated by Team Germany’s Schumacher and Vettel.

Now Priaulx has a chance to make amends as he teams up with 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard.

“I always enjoy the Race Of Champions. The atmosphere in the stadium is special and I’m looking forward to hearing the noise at the latest venue in Bangkok,” he said,

“I’ve already been runner-up a few times in the ROC Nations Cup, so I hope DC and I can go one better at last. But we know that is a big task with such a range of legends in the field. It’s always very intense and everyone knows how to race and win.”

The Race Of Champions, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup on Saturday (December 15), ahead of the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday (December 16).

Australia will be represented, with Whincup teaming up with five-times 500cc champion Mick Doohan.

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