New Delhi: India will be representing in the Race Of Champions (ROC) for the second time after Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan signed up for ROC 2013, to be held at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium on the weekend of December 14-15.
The former Formula 1 drivers joined forces for Team India at last year's inaugural ROC Asia. They topped the group stages with four wins out of six against their competitors from China, Japan and host nation Thailand before defeating the Japanese duo in the final. That performance has now earned Chandhok and Karthikeyan an invitation to return to the scene of their triumph in Bangkok.
As there is no ROC Asia this time, the Indian pair start their campaign with the main Nation's Cup.
"It will be a great privilege to represent India again at the Race Of Champions. We had a great time at our first attempt but it is always a challenge to jump into different cars and adapt quickly. However, with the experience of the 2012 event behind us, we feel more confident and better prepared this time. As always, going head to head with world champions like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Ogier is something we're looking forward to," said Karthikeyan, who impressed in his maiden Auto GP season this year, notching up five victories.
Chandhok, who has moved on to sports car racing from single-seaters, too was excited about another invitation.
"I'm very excited to be going back to Bangkok. Narain and I had a great time together last year and it was fantastic to be the first ROC Asia winners. ROC is a unique event from a competitive and social perspective and it's something that every driver looks forward to. The chance to spend time with such a great mix of drivers from a huge variety of championships around the world is a lot of fun and I hope we once again get a good crowd at the stadium," he said.
Chandhok drove in the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second time earlier in the year and is also involved in the FIA GT1 Series.
Held every year since 1988, the 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 Rajamangala Stadium. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Dec 14, ahead of the individual race Dec 15.
Seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and newly-crowned World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier have already signed up for the event