Racing around Wembley

Back in 2007, I went with a group of friends to see the Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium. The event was really entertaining as seeing the world’s best drivers from different disciplines of motor racing, competing in evenly matched cars, around a figure-of-eight circuit was a real highlight to the end of the year.

So for 2008, I invited some more friends who have yet to experience this sporting event and even though I purchased cheaper tickets online, the view from our seats was better than the year before!

From our seating position, you can see all of the track and with the competition so close, the atmosphere made the event felt more like a football match than a racing contest.

Just like last year, Team Germany won the Nations Cup thanks to the driving talent of seven times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher and Grand Prix sensational Sebastian Vettel. In the main event, it was world rally champion Sebastien Loeb who took the honours, but the Frenchman had to fight hard against David Coulthard in the final.

The recently retiree Formula One racer was in a real competitive mood and it was quite surreal to see DC challenging the likes of Loeb, Schumacher and (Carl) Edwards, as previous years Coulthard would have been knocked out in the very first round…

In addition, DC managed to damage his race car throughout the night, including his Red Bull Racing Formula One car! During his demo run, the Scotsman performed a  ‘doughnut’ but as he was spinning around creating lots of smoke and noise for his fans, the car was slowly edging closer towards the wall…The inevitable happened and I still remember the crowd reaction when the front wing got knocked off against the barriers!

Speaking of demonstrations, the pre-event promotional was the ‘man versus machine’ challenge with British Olympic winner Chris Hoy racing his bike around the track against British Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren. Unfortunately, due to the icy track conditions the organisers decided to cancel the event and instead put Chris and Lewis in an open-top Mercedes and perform a parade lap in front of home crowd. It was a real shame, as I wanted to see this duel but Chris had the last laugh as later that evening, the Olympic hero was made BBC Sports Personality of the Year, beating his rival Hamilton!

So a great day out at Wembley and I was pleased to hear that my friends loved every moment of it. The on-track entertainment certainly kept our enthusiasm up despite the winter cold and we look forward to attend the next Race of Champions.