Sébastien Ogier delivered a thrilling performance to eclipse 15 fellow superstars of motor sport and win the Race Of Champions on a packed afternoon of competition at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena.
Ogier, who took five wins in this year’s World Rally Championship, overcame Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen in the best-of-three Grand Final on the ROC parallel track to earn the title of Champion of Champions at his very first attempt.
"I’m so happy," said Ogier. "It was a very nice weekend and it was already great to be in the final at my first time. There are a lot of cars to learn here and the track as well. But I didn’t do too badly and I pushed hard all the way. Tom is a really good driver but to win this race is amazing."
Following Team Germany’s win in the ROC Nations Cup, the Race Of Champions pitted 16 of the biggest names in motor sport against each other in head-to-head combat in a variety of different cars.
Kristensen reached the Grand Final with a stunning victory over seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher by less than two hundredths of a second. Ogier prevailed over DTM champion Martin Tomczyk in the other semi-final.
“Sébastien is a very deserved winner," said Kristensen. "He had the edge on cold tyres, especially in the ROC car. But beating both Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher was a really big achievement for me today, particularly in Germany. It’s almost better than Christmas!”
Talking about his victory, Sébastien Ogier said, “I’m so happy. It was a very nice weekend. Tom is a really good driver but to win this race at the first attempt is amazing. There are a lot of new cars to learn here plus the track as well. But I pushed hard all the way and I didn’t do too badly. I had a lot of fun out there though I want to congratulate Jan Kopecký for a nice race in the Skoda, which I’ll be driving next year. I was very proud to be invited to the Race Of Champions. It’s very nice to do it and to have the chance to meet all these great drivers. It’s a good party and a happy end to the year.”