Four-time Rally America champion and 10-time X Games Gold Medallist Travis Pastrana will compete in the Bird's Nest Stadium in China next month, as he and Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust represent the USA at the Race of Champions from November 2-4.
The Americans will compete against top names from the world of motor racing, including seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, eight-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner Tom Kristensen and current F1 World Championship leader Jenson Button.
Pastrana was due to compete in the Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium in London in 2008, but was forced to pull out when he was injured just before the event.
“I was bummed to miss out on the Race of Champions when I got hurt last year,” said Pastrana. “Tanner stood in at the last minute and did a great job but it was always going to be tough when doing it for the first time. Tanner has been a fierce competitor of mine for years. He's great under pressure and a short course specialist. This year is going to be a lot of fun!”
Foust, who as well as two drift titles has won his own collection of X Games medals and acted as lead stunt driver in the Fast and Furious
movies, filled in for Pastrana at the Race of Champions last year. He beat Button before former F1 star David Coulthard knocked him out of the main competition.
“Last year I had a great time driving with some of my all-time driving heros,” said Foust. “This year the course is new for everyone so the playing field is even, and driving alongside Travis, a proven ROC threat and undeniably the most competitive human on the planet, is going to be a blast.”
Pastrana, who is possibly most famous worldwide for becoming the first person to perform a motorcycle double back-flip in competition, competed in the Race of Champions in Paris and London between 2003 and 2007 and is excited at being one of the first stars to compete in The Bird's Nest Stadium since the Olympic Games last year.
“Competing in France and England was great, but the Bird's Nest looks awesome – racing there will be something else and I'm sure we'll put on an awesome show for the Chinese fans.”
Fredrik Johnsson, president of event organizers IMP, said of the pairing, “Travis is a great Race of Champions competitor – he managed to take the USA to the final of The ROC Nations Cup on his own in 2003 – and Tanner showed great skill on his debut last year. Together I'm sure they'll make a great team.”
Foust and Pastrana will compete as a team in The ROC Nations Cup on Tuesday 3 November, as they aim to become the first US team to win the event since 2002. A day later, they will compete for individual glory in the Race of Champions itself.