Team Norway win their first Race of Champions Nations Cup
Written by Hugh Waring, Edited by Harshi Vashee
Team Norway see off Team USA 3-1 as the father and son combination beats NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and last weekend’s Daytona 24hr winner and IndyCar driver Colton Herta.
The 47 year old and 2003 World Rally Champion, Petter has won his second ROC Nations Cup, whilst 2 times World Rallycross Champion and ROC debutant, Oliver wins his first. The pair wins in Northern Sweden, held in Pite Havsbad, Pitea, and the event is the first time the ROC has held an event on a snow and ice circuit, only 60 miles away from the Arctic Circle.
The final consisted firstly of Team USA, starting from behind as NASCAR legend Johnson had an engine issue in the first heat. Whilst in a second, Oliver tackled past Herta to take a commanding 2-0 lead. Despite clawing back in the third heat as Johnson conquered Oliver. The final, best of 4 heat between Herta and Petter Solberg, gave Team Norway its first ROC Nations Cup win as Herta made an unforced error, giving the World Rally champion the victory.
The finale came about after Team Norway earlier on Saturday beat hosts, Team Sweden’s World Rallycross Champions, Ekstrom and Hansen in the quarters, and later, Team Nordic’s, WRC and Extreme E Champion Kristoffersson and 2013 WEC winner, Kristensen in the semi-finals. Whilst Team USA took the longer route of beating Team Latin America in Round 1 before surprisingly, the duo beat the Formula 1 German pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher. Lastly, tackling a head-to-head with rivals Team Finland’s F1 2x World Champion Mika Hakkinen and W Series driver Emma Kimilainen - a replacement for Valtteri Bottas.
The individual championship takes place on Sunday where the Race of Champions competition will be fought between the past winners of Coulthard and Vettel as well as other prominent motorsport drivers including Sebastien Loeb, Helio Castroneves and Jamie Chadwick - as well as F1 eSport sim racers of Opmeer and Blakeley.