The stage is set for a thrilling 2010 edition of The Race of Champions after the draw for the opening group stages was made in Düsseldorf.
The Mayor of Düsseldorf, Dirk Elbers, made the draw at the 50,000-seater ESPRIT arena, host of this weekend’s Race of Champions and ROC Nations Cup.
An all-star line-up of 16 motor sport stars past and present - including current F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and seven-time title winner Michael Schumacher - discovered what awaits them in this weekend’s event.
The drivers are split into groups of four for a round-robin first stage, with the stars of world motor sport going head to head for two-lap races on a parallel track for the right to participate in the knockout stages.
The first-round groups are:
Sébastien LOEB, seven-time World Rally Champion
Heikki KOVALAINEN, Formula 1 grand prix winner
Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN, two-time Porsche Supercup Champion
Bertrand BAGUETTE, 2009 World Series by Renault Champion
Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
Mick DOOHAN, five-time World 500cc Motorcycling Champion
Travis PASTRANA, 11-time X-Games gold medallist
Sebastian VETTEL, 2010 Formula 1 World Champion
Carl EDWARDS, 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
Filipe ALBUQUERQUE, A1GP race winner and winner ROC South Europe 2010
Tanner FOUST, 2010 X-Games rally and rallycross gold medallist
Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
Alain PROST, four-time Formula 1 World Champion
Jason PLATO, two-time British Touring Car Champion
Alvaro PARENTE, GP2 race winner and winner ROC South Europe 2010
Action at the ESPRIT Arena begins on Saturday with the ROC Nations Cup, when home heroes Schumacher and Vettel aim for an incredible fourth consecutive title together or Team Germany.
The two groups are:
Team France (Alain PROST & Sébastien LOEB)
Team Nordic (Heikki KOVALAINEN & Tom KRISTENSEN)
Team Portugal (Alvaro PARENTE & Filipe ALBUQUERQUE)
Team Great Britain (Andy PRIAULX & Jason PLATO)
Team Germany (Michael SCHUMACHER & Sebastian VETTEL)
Team USA (Carl EDWARDS & Travis PASTRANA)
Team All Stars (Mick DOOHAN & Tanner FOUST)
Team Benelux (Bertrand BAGUETTE & Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN)
As well as a stellar driver line-up, The Race of Champions also features an impressive array of vehicles, including the powerful Audi R8 LMS, Porsche 911 and VW Scirocco. They will run alongside ROC favourites including the ROC car, KTM X-Bow, Solution F Prototype, FJ Racecar and the RX150 buggy.