David Coulthard crowned Champion of Champions in ROC finals
Formula 1 veteran David Coulthard was crowned champion of champions on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
The 13-time Grand Prix winner defeated 19 other international motorsports superstars en route to winning his second Race of Champions championship at Riyadh’s King Fahad International Stadium.
The races took place on a purpose-built parallel track in a range of identically prepared cars that included the Vuhl 05 ROC Edition, Ariel Atom Cup, Xtreme Pickup, Whelen NASCAR Euro, KTM X-Bow Comp R and the ROC Car.
The finals came down to Coulthard and two-time World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg. But the Formula 1 legend dispatched the rally in two straight races to win a follow-up to his 2014 ROC championship.
Solberg had never been in the Race of Champions Grand Final before.
Coulthard said his heart was beating like he was a rookie.
“Thanks to Petter for a great race,” Coulthard said. “He’s a great sport and a great champion. When I went out of the ROC Nations Cup yesterday after winning just one race out of three, my son switched off the TV because he thought ‘Daddy’s too old,’ so I’m delighted to show him experience can be a good thing too… Today I pushed hard but it’s also about being clean. I touched the wall once over the course of the day but other than that I kept it on the track.
“It’s great to have been part of the first Race of Champions here in Riyadh, too. It’s been a nice atmosphere, and the people in the crowd have been treated to nonstop action. So thank you to Fredrik Johnsson and his team for yet another great event. To be honest, I’m always surprised when Fredrik invites me, because I don’t race any more, but I’m delighted when he does. The camaraderie with all the other drivers is special and we’ve had a wonderful welcome here.”
Solberg was gracious in defeat.
“First of all, congratulations to David,” the Norwegian said. “I was doing everything I could to win it, but it wasn’t quite enough today. David drove very well and he has the right mentality, so this was very well deserved. He’s a better circuit driver than me, that’s for sure. I still like to be a bit more sideways. But I’m proud and happy to make it to the final against such a strong field.”
Juan Pablo Montoya (3 wins) and Ryan Hunter-Reay advance over (2) and Helio Castroneves (1)
David Coulthard (3) and Tom Kristensen (2) advance over Rudy Van Buren (1)
Johan Kristoffersson (2) and Joel Eriksson (2) advance over Rene Rast
Petter Solberg (3) and Joseph Newgarden (2) advance over Ahmed Bin Khanen (1)
Tom Kristensen defeats Juan Pablo Montoya
David Coulthard defeats Ryan Hunter-Reay
Johan Kristoffersson defeats Josef Newgarden
Petter Solberg defeats Joel Eriksson
David Coulthard defeats Tom Kristensen
Petter Solberg defeats Johan Kristoffersson
David Coulthard defeats Petter Solberg