Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and full-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES athlete Helio Castroneves announced he will be a part of the growing international field of drivers at the upcoming Race of Champions “Snow + Ice” World Final in Pite Havsbad, Sweden, Feb. 5-6.
Promoters of the annual Race Of Champions (ROC), International Media Productions (IMP), announced Castroneves’ participation alongside Mexican rally star Benito Guerra Jr., the 2012 PRWC Champion and reigning ROC “Champion of Champions.”
“I’m so excited to be at the Race Of Champions,” Castroneves said. “It’s always an honor to race against the best of the best. Winning Indy for the fourth time was an incredible result, especially when you stop and think that only a few drivers on the entire planed have been able to achieve this. But these wins do not necessarily translate very well into the snow experience in Sweden. It will be interesting, to say the least.”
The two drivers will be vying for the individual Champion of Champions title, as well as bringing their diverse talents together as Team Latin America in a campaign for the coveted ROC Nations Cup.
“These guys represent very different racing disciplines but have both shown they can be very competitive at the Race Of Champions,” said ROC President Fredrik Johnsson. “Now it will be very interesting to see how they both adapt to racing on snow and ice to see if they can create another surprise at ROC Sweden.”
In past ROC appearances, both drivers have proven to be fierce challengers. Castroneves has competed in ROC World Finals in Mexico, Miami and Riyadh in 2018, where he partnered with Colombian racer and fellow Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya to claim second place for Latin America in the ROC Nations Cup.
Fresh off an Indianapolis 500 win in 2021 for Meyer Shank Racing, Castroneves is now firmly among legends as he tied A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with a record four victories in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
In 2019, in front of a home crowd in Mexico City’s Foro Sol Stadium, Guerra qualified ahead of Formula One star Sebastian Vettel, and then knocked out two more Formula One drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Gutierrez, before finally besting 24 Hours of LeMans champion Loic Duval in the final Guerra’s only other appearance was at ROC Bangkok in 2012, on the heels of winning the PRWC title that same year.
“With drivers from Formula 1, rallycross and now also the Indy 500, we have really managed to get top drivers from all over the world and from many different genres in motorsports,” said Tobias Lindfors, Group CEO and owner of Pite Havsbad Group. “We are fully preparing for the folk festival in February, and I will be two incredibly exciting and fast-paced days.”
ROC Sweden will feature some of the most successful drivers who have won some of the biggest races and championships in global motorsports. Drivers competing this year include seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and current NTT INDYCAR SERIES athlete Jimmie Johnson, as well as Vettel, Mick Schumacher, Valtteri Bottas, Mika Hakkinen, Mattias Ekstrom, Sebastien Loeb, Tom Kristensen, Jonah Kristoffersson, Travis Pastrana, Oliver Solberg and Petter Solberg.
A unique winner-takes-all format that gives competitors the opportunity to test their talents against competitors they would never typically encounter, ROC draws many of the most successful racers from every discipline of global motorsports. Past ROC events have brought together superstars from all of the premier leagues in global motorsports including Formula One, LeMans, NASCAR, INDYCAR, World Rally and Rallycross.
Over its three decades, the event has been a battleground for European legends like Michael Schumacher, Petter Solberg, Colin McRae, David Coulthard, Marcus Gronholm and Jenson Button; along with NASCAR champions Kurt and Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Johnson; Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden from INDYCAR; and Formula E champion Lucas Di Grassi.
Each year, drivers look forward to the innovative challenges created at ROC, whether those involve terrain, track design or racing equipment.
“We will be at the Arctic Circle in freezing temperatures and very little daylight,” Johnsson continued. “Add to this the snow and ice which will become the widest and fastest track in ROC history. It is really hard to tell who, if anyone, will have an advantage coming into this event.”
ROC’s “Champion of Champions” individual racing was launched in 1988 and the ROC Nations Cup was introduced in 1999 as a team competition, becoming a fixture in every ROC World Final since. Held on the first day of competition, the ROC Nations Cup has created some of ROC’s most intense action.
As a part of the ROC’s most recent innovations, the equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will feature electric cars and 100% fossil-free biofuel engines. Cars announced to date include the over 1,000 horsepower FC1-X that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in less than 1.5 seconds, the FIA RX2e – another electric rallycross car generating 250kw of power, up to 510 Nm torque and accelerates from 0-100km/h in less than 3.3 seconds – and the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The SuperCar Lites will return to ROC, but this time powered by biofuel.
Event organizers will comply with any COVID-19 restrictions in effect. Organizers and local officials will be providing updates at raceofchampions.com with regard to any additional ticket sales and any restrictions affecting travel and local services due to COVID-19.