The Race of Champions always sounded like an awesome concept. Put the best drivers of different motorsport disciplines in one stadium and pitch them against each other in equal machinery to find out who is the best! The past few years it has been in the Stadt de France, and this year it came to Wembley. So naturally we had to go (plus a few of us were getting the shakes from motorsport withdrawal symptoms during the off season period).
One of the great things about it was the return of the legendary Michael Schumacher to "competitive racing." Historically I have always not liked him. I was always supporting the "other" person: Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. But now with the legend absent, I started to appreciate him more - the dude's a hero.
Most of us were the old Warwick Motorsport gang: JJ, AJ, Rich, John, Jen and I. We sat at the top tier on a crisp 3degC Sunday. My gosh was it cold all day. It was hovering about zero all day. I also thought Wembley was quite empty, but when you consider this is a motorsport event and it has filled up half the capacity, its not that bad.
In the Nations cup, we saw some great races. I was rooting for Norway (Solberg brothers) but I was pretty sure Finland (Gronholm and Kovalainen) was going to win - especially when Gronholm seemed to be only driving his own Ford Focus WRC in almost every round! In the final Schumacher raced Kovalainen in the Punto S2000 Abarth. Schumacher stalled and lost a lot of time. Kovy managed to get up to the back of Schumacher to lap him. But Schumacher decided to drive flamboyantly sideways to stop him, but he got through. But eventually overall, the Finns were pipped to the title by Team Germany (Vettel and Schumacher).
In the mid interval, we got some cups of warmth from the cafe whilst some very good stunts were being shown. The legendary Stig Blomqvist made an appearance in the original Audi Quattro, Priaulx drove his WTCC BMW 320i, Kristensen drove his Le Mans Audi R10 TDI, Coulthard drove his Red Bull Racing F1 car, Vettel drove his STR F1 car and Matthias Ekstrom made the most smoke in this Audi A4 DTM.
In the Champions of Champions races that followed we saw some fantastic races. The closest finish was Andy Priaulx vs. Heikki Kovalainen in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24's. They were neck and neck but Kovy over cooked it coming out of the last corner and overcorrected a slide and got into a tankslapper which made him cross the finishing line sideways before colliding backwards with the barrier. "Heikki you're a lunatic!" I shouted whilst the crowds cheered. By 6.45pm it was so cold we had square ice cubes around all our toes, and Mattias Ekstrom beat Schumacher 2-1. Schumacher was still amazingly setting all the fast laps in the day. It was great watching him slide the RoC buggy into the first corner on the inside track. After the podium presentation we all ran home to defrost!