Nov 4 2013, 4:44am CST | by IANS
London, Nov 4 — The Race Of Champions (ROC) will feature a female driver for the first time in its history as Susie Wolff has signed up for ROC 2013, to be held at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium Dec 14-15.
Wolff spent seven years racing in Germany's DTM touring car series before sealing a role as development driver for the Williams F1 team in April 2012. She now has the chance to race the greats of world motor sport in the individual Race Of Champions and the ROC Nations Cup for Britain alongside fellow Scot David Coulthard.
"Any driver would love to be invited to do the Race Of Champions," said Wolff Monday. "It's an event I have watched as far back as I can remember. What is so exciting is that the cars race head-to-head and you can see how close it is: it always comes down to hundredths. Jumping in and out of the different cars is going to be the real challenge. You need to make sure your car control is as good as it can be because you don't have time to get a proper feeling for the car, you just get in and go.
"Then there's the ROC Nations Cup, where I certainly feel responsibility to make sure we do well as a nation. I know David from our time in DTM and I rate him really highly so to be part of the team alongside him makes me very proud. Of course we'll be up against drivers who are absolutely at the top of their game. So I know it's not going to be easy but I'm relishing the challenge."
The news was warmly welcomed by Michèle Mouton, the world's most successful female rally driver, who created the event with ROC President Fredrik Johnsson. She said: "As co-founder of ROC and chairwoman of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission - Susie has been our Ambassador since 2012 - it is a pleasure to see her participating in ROC."
Coulthard enjoyed a glittering F1 career, taking 13 Grand Prix victories and finishing in the world championship top three no less than five times in over a decade at the top. He has since spent three years in Germany's DTM championship - racing against Wolff - but last year he retired from full-time competition to focus on his other interests including his F1 commentary for BBC television.
The Scotsman has a fine pedigree at ROC, reaching the Grand Final at London's Wembley Stadium in 2008. That day he took rally legend Sébastien Loeb to the third heat of the best-of-three final, before missing out by the narrowest of margins in the decider. Last year in Bangkok, he reached the individual semi-finals before falling to Le Mans great Tom Kristensen.
Coulthard said: "It's always a pleasure to take part in ROC - and this time will be no exception with my new team-mate Susie. Our paths have already crossed on the track in the DTM and now we have a chance to race together for Team GB, or should that be Team Scotland."
Held every year since 1988, ROC brings together the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's main disciplines - including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP, Nascar, IndyCar, Touring Cars and the X-Games - and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
ROC 2013 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Dec 14, ahead of the individual Race Of Champions Dec 15.
Seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, four-time V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup and 2013 World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier have already signed up for the event.
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