Sebastien Loeb Wins Race Of Champions
Posted 04 December 2005 - 12:17 AM
Showing the way to Albers, Coulthard and Massa
Sebastien Loeb takes all at Stade de France
Light rain made the kilometre purpose built circuit within Stade de France slippery but if anyone could cope with such conditions it was World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb who took away Heikki Kovalainen's crown of Champion of Champions this evening in Paris.
Kovalainen, now confirmed as test driver with the Renault F1 squad in 2006, put on a great show as he attempted to defend his crown The Finn took on and beat new Ferrari signing Felipe Massa before being eliminated by this year's Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, who in turn eliminated many big names in the competition including the likes of David Coulthard and Nelson Piquet Jr only to lose out at the final hurdle.
The finale came down to a shoot out between Loeb and Kristensen with the WRC Champion taking the win in the super-powerful Renault Megane Trophy car and then sealing the victory as Kristensen went off track in the Citroen Xsara WRC.
Sebastien Bourdais, the double winner in the Champ Car World Series put in a great show eliminating his US open wheel rival and IRL IndyCar Champion Dan Wheldon with ease only to lose out against NASCAR star Jeff Gordon.
Gordon himself could have and perhaps should have challenged for the ultimate win by a gearbox gremlin saw him stranded on the line in the semi-finals against Kristensen.
New MF1 Racing signing Christijan Albers had a short run as he went off early on after a gearbox problem in the RoC machine resulted in the Dutch driver nosing the car heavily into the barriers.
Once again the annual Race of Champions event drew a huge crowd and provided plant of entertainment with the big names in motorsport. In a dream season for Sebastien Loeb, he can add the Race of Champions 2005 to his ever impressive resume.
RoC - Jeff Gordon Vs Christijan Albers
The newly-signed MF1 racer ended his chances of success just after taking the intermediate sector as he nosed his white RoC car into the tyres and out of the event. First blood to the NASCAR driver.
RoC - Sebastien Bourdais Vs Dan Wheldon (Wild Card)
Bourdais dominated Wheldon perhaps thanks to his extra track time in the Nations Cup. Bourdais cruised to an easy win ahead of his US open-wheel rival by over three seconds.
RoC - Nelson Piquet Jr Vs Mattias Ekstrom
An aggressive start from Piquet and enjoyed a half second advantage at the intermediate section, extending the advantage to over a second by the chequered flag. Ekstrom does not make the quarter finals after winning the Nations Cup earlier today.
RoC - David Coulthard Vs Tom Kristensen
Coulthard picked up a yellow after clipping the wall and was 0.2s down at the intermediate. Kristensen would take the win and eliminate the Red Bull driver from the competition.
Porsche - Marcus Gronholm Vs Stephane Peterhansel
A close race with Peterhansel holding the initial advantage but Gronholm took the race win with a strong final lap.
RoC - Heikki Kovalainen Vs Bernd Schneider
Last year's Champion of Champions Kovalainen enjoyed a comfortable lead at the mid-way point and with no mistakes this time, took the win from the DTM driver by nearly four seconds.
Xsara WRC - Francois Duval Vs Daniel Sordo (Wild Card)
Duval made a slow start, hit the wall with his right rear as the WRC driver pushed on. Race over for Duval.
RoC - Jean Alesi Vs Felipe Massa
Former Ferrari driver taking on the future Ferrari racer saw Alesi pushing hard but giving second best to Massa, losing time in a big power slide in the final turn.
Porsche - Colin McRae Vs Armin Schwarz
A big save from Schwarz as he pushed hard was not enough to give him the win as McRae beat his Skoda team-mate for the second time today.
Sebastien Loeb Vs Travis Pastrana
Loeb takes victory putting out the American.
RoC Sebastien Bourdais Vs Jeff Gordon
Gordon wins after an aggressive drive. The Champ Car driver beaten fair and square.
Xsara WRC Sebastien Loeb Vs Travis Pastrana
Nothing in it at the intermediate but the 2005 WRC Champion would take the win as Pastrana backed the Citroen into the wall. An impressive performance from the motocross rider non-the-less.
RoC - Nelson Piquet Jr Vs Tom Kristensen
The GP2 racer enjoyed many big slides in the tricky damp conditions as Kristensen continued his unbeaten run to take the win by half a second.
Megan Heikki Kovalainen Vs Felipe Massa
Last year's champion had a tenth in hand at the intermediate, extending the advantage to nearly a second by the chequered flag.
Xsara WRC Daniel Sordo Vs Marcus Gronholm
Gronholm dominated the heat to take the win by two seconds to make the semi finals.
Megan - Jeff Gordon Vs Tom Kristensen
The American was left on the grid with a gear-shift failure meaning his race was over. There really should have been a re-run but a great shame after a great challenge from the NASCAR driver.
Xsara WRC Sebastien Loeb Vs Colin McRae
A great start from Loeb saw him have the initial advantage but it was McRae who led at the intermediate only for Loeb to take the win by nearly a second.
Megan Heikki Kovalainen Vs Tom Kristensen
A smooth race from both that saw Kristensen take the win by just 0.0067s from last year's champion Kovalainen is out.
Xsara WRC - Sebastien Loeb Vs Marcus Gronholm
The WRC Champion had a 1.2 second advantage at the intermediate, and he would win by 2.5s despite a brush with the wall that would damage the rear lights on his Citroen.
Megan Tom Kristensen Vs Sebastien Loeb Heat 1/3
After a practice lap for each in unfamiliar machinery the finale got underway with both making a good start and Kristensen leading by 0.3 at the intermediate but it was Loeb that got a better exit on the final turn to take the race win.
Xsara WRC - Tom Kristensen Vs Sebastien Loeb Heat 2/3
Loeb, firm favourite in the Rally car, won with ease as Kristensen found himself atop of the barriers just seconds into the event. Sebastien Loeb wins the Champion of Champions.
Posted 04 December 2005 - 12:59 AM
Surely in an event of this type a mechanical failure should result in a re-run rather than a loss.
Also due to an accident in a previous heat one of the drivers had to compete on a car that was cold (Tyres & Mechanicals) against a car that was race warm. Surely a huge disadvantage in cold wet conditions. In all fairness 2 new cold cars should be used.
I know the event is about the spectical but where the driver (or team) has no input into preperation of the vehicles then the organisers should give all drivers a fair go.
Posted 04 December 2005 - 06:32 PM
"I reject your reality and substitute my own"------Adam--Mythbusters
Posted 05 December 2005 - 09:02 AM
He destroyed all oposition in WRC this year breaking nearly every possible record in the process. He is rally's version of GPbikes Rossi.
Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:59 PM
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