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Massa added to Race of Champions line-up 11 Nov 2004

Felipe Massa (BRA) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, 9 September 2004

Felipe Massa is the latest Formula One driver to sign up for next month’s Race of Champions - Nations Cup at the Stade de France in Paris. Massa will join Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard and a host of other motorsport stars for the unique event.

Massa will take time out from Sauber’s winter test programme to link up with reigning IRL champion Tony Kanaan, forming a strong Brazilian team to take on rival pairings from the USA, Europe and Scandinavia in a variety of four-wheeled machinery.

“I think it has to be my aim to beat Michael Schumacher,” said Massa. “But it is not just about trying to beat him. There will be some amazing drivers there like (Sebastien) Loeb and Jeff Gordon.

“It’s going to be very interesting to drive in the middle of the Stade de France. I say interesting but I have no idea how it is going to be. To be racing for Brazil will be cool. Tony Kanaan is a good friend. We have two open wheel guys so I am not sure how we will do. I hope we can be in the top three.”

Schumacher, meanwhile, has said he is relishing the chance to race against drivers from other disciplines: “I love competing. That’s part of what keeps me going, and in the Race of Champions I like the idea of having drivers from different series driving with and against each other. Usually this is impossible for us to do. Plus it is simply nice to be able to meet those other drivers.”

In addition to Loeb, the rally world will be represented by legend Colin McRae, who will form a Scottish alliance with Coulthard, and double world champion Marcus Gronholm. NASCAR is sending two of its most competitive drivers, champion Gordon and regular race winner Jimmie Johnson, while newly-crowned Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais has just added his name to the line-up, which also includes Formula One veteran and DTM star Jean Alesi.

The 2004 Race of Champions Nations Cup takes place on Saturday December 4.