Kovalainen confirmed for Race of Champions 09 Oct 2007
Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen has announced he will participate in this years Race of Champions (ROC) event. The annual contest, which sees world-renowned drivers compete in a variety of machinery, will take place in December at Londons recently-reopened Wembley stadium.
Kovalainen, who scored his first Formula One podium finish this month in Japan, competed at last years event, narrowly missing out on the ROC title but clinching the Nations Cup alongside fellow Finn and world rally champion Marcus Gronholm. Back in 2004 he did take the driver prize, edging out Formula One legend Michael Schumacher.
Beating Michael was a very nice thing for me, explained Kovalainen, who had won the World Series by Nissan that season. I remember watching him race against Ayrton Senna when I was still in karts so to beat him on a level playing field was quite unbelievable and the reaction from all the fans in the stadium when I climbed on the roof of the car was incredible!
Driving so close to so many fans creates a very special atmosphere and Im really looking forward to race in Wembley Stadium. Last year I lost in the semi-finals by just 0.0002 seconds against Swedens Mattias Ekstrom who went on to win the Race of Champions, so Im really motivated to try to take back the title I won in 2004.
Crowds are expected to number 80,000 at the British stadium when the action gets underway on December 16. Michael Schumacher, Red Bulls David Coulthard and Hondas Jenson Button are also confirmed for the event.