Another NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver from a balmy climate is heading to the ice and snow of northern Sweden next month to race against some of the top drivers in the world.
Andretti Autosport driver Colton Herta will join fellow NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers Jimmie Johnson and Helio Castroneves in the Race of Champions (ROC) Snow + Ice World Final in Pite Havsbad, Sweden, as they try to win the all-star event that takes place on the frozen Baltic Sea just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. Herta is replacing extreme sports and rally star Travis Pastrana, who recently suffered multiple injuries in a base jumping accident in Florida.
WATCH: ROC Promotional Video
Herta, 21, will make his first appearance in the Race of Champions. He will compete for the individual "Champion of Champions" title and will join Chip Ganassi Racing’s Johnson – a fellow Southern California native – in America's bid for the coveted ROC Nations Cup on day 1 of the two-day race weekend. Meyer Shank Racing's Castroneves, from Brazil, will race for the Latin American contingent.
"What an amazing opportunity to join Race of Champions for the first time," Herta said. "It comes with sorrow as I fill in for Travis, and I wish him speedy and full recovery."
Other global motorsports stars scheduled to race include four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel, two-time F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen, current F1 star and race winner Valtteri Bottas, rising F1 star Mick Schumacher, nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, nine-time World Rally Championship season champion Sebastien Loeb, two-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick and 2019 World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen.
Drivers from varied disciplines of motorsport will face off in intense head-to-head heats until the last individual driver is crowned the "Champion of Champions" and the last of the two-driver teams lays claim to the ROC Nations Cup.
This year's ROC Nations Cup will feature national teams from Sweden, Norway, Finland, USA, Germany, Great Britain and France, along with contingents from Latin America and Nordic countries.
As part of the ROC's most recent innovations, equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will be powered by electric and 100 percent fossil-free biofuel engines. Cars announced to date include the 1,000-horsepower FC1-X Supercar that accelerates from 0-60 mph in less than 1.5 seconds; the FIA RX2, an electric rallycross car generating 335 horsepower and up to 510 Nm torque; and the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The RX2e accelerates from 0-60 mph in less than 3.3 seconds, while the GT4 makes 425 horsepower from fossil-free biofuel. The SuperCar Lites will return to ROC, but this time powered by biofuel.
A unique winner-takes-all format that gives competitors the opportunity to test their talents against competitors they would never typically encounter, ROC has been engineering novel racing formats for more than three decades, drawing many of the most successful racers from every form of global motorsports. The event has been a contest for INDYCAR SERIES champions Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden, Indianapolis 500 winners Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya, global legends Michael Schumacher, Kristensen, Vettel, Loeb, Petter Solberg, Mattias Ekström, Colin McRae, David Coulthard, Marcus Grönholm and Jenson Button, and other international stars like NASCAR champions Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Kurt and Kyle Busch.