Team Germany won the Race of Champions Nations' Cup for a fifth straight year with a commanding performance in Dusseldorf on Saturday night.
The German squad of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher overcame Team Nordic's Tom Kristensen and Juho Hanninen 2-0 in the final to continue the country's unprecedented run of success.
Schumacher began the final by inflicting a first defeat of the night on Le Mans legend Kristensen, the Dane losing touch with the seven-time World Champion thanks to a big slide in his KTM KTM X-Bow on his final lap. It was a similar story in the second heat as Hanninen overdid a handbrake turn while racing Vettel in RoC Buggies, and lost over three seconds. From that point, Vettel was able to calmly complete the victory.
Nordic's progress from the semi-finals was straightforward; a 2-0 victory over France coming as Kristensen beat Romain Grosjean in Audi R8s and then Hanninen triumphed over Sebastien Ogier in Volkswagen Scirocco Cup cars.
Germany had things a little tougher against Team Great Britain. Jenson Button gave GB a 1-0 lead after overturning a 0.5sec deficit to Schumacher at the halfway point of their clash in NASCAR-style FJV8 racecars, but Vettel pulled his nation level with a victory over Andy Priaulx in X-Bows.
A deciding heat between Vettel and Button in X-Bows was resolved when the Briton spun on his second lap, handing his opponent victory and a spot in the final.
The group stage was largely uneventful; the most dramatic moment in Group A coming when Team USA's Travis Pastrana turned in too late to the chicane and clobbered the barrier, his Skoda Fabia S2000 rally car lifting up on top of the retaining wall before ending up head on in the temporary wall a few yards further on. That incident handed a race win to Hanninen and more or less sealed Nordic's place in the knock-out stages. USA finished bottom of the group with Pastrana and Brian Deegan managing just a single win between them. Germany's B-team, comprising Timo Glock and Timo Scheider, was the other unlucky squad.
The first race of Group B resulted in a big upset; Schumacher being beaten inX-bows by fellow F1 driver Vitaly Petrov of Team Slavic.
The German A-team still had more than enough quality to progress though, even if Vettel was defeated by Button in the final race before the knockout stages; a result that ended up with Great Britain as group winners. Slavic and an All-Stars squad of David Coulthard and last year's Race of Champions winner Filipe Albuquerque were eliminated.