The annual Race of Champions is less than a month away. Here are some things you need to know about its roots.

Illustration for article titled Know your Race of Champions

The Race of Champions is considered by many to be the Olympics of motor racing as various drivers from all around the world gather in a small arena each year to race for their country and for themselves to earn the 'Champion of Champions' title. It is a festival, a celebration of motor racing, all in good humour.

What is somewhat lesser known - as the race expanded over time and moved into stadiums - is that it was originally conceived for rally drivers by rally driver godess, Michéle Mouton in 1988 to bring all the rally world champions - a decade after the Drivers' World Championship was introduced for the World Rally Championship - to decide who was the best of the best.

The first event was virtually a rally sprint, but in following years the event popularized the 'Super Special Stage' or 'Spectator Stage' concept for years to come (and Gymkhana GRID in the long run) as two cars started off from different points of a figure-8 circuit, running in parallel most of the times, giving the impression of the vehicles racing each other in an elimination competition.


The most remembered and longest-running location to the RoC was on Gran Canaria, during the height of popularity of rallying in the '90s.

At that point the race was so much sought after, yet remote phyisically, that it received its first own video game.

From 2004 it was moved to stadiums to paved surface, which resulted in a larger variety of cars and drivers, getting to the point that rally cars and drivers got scarce, nevertheless the 'zero' car still remains an Audi Quattro S1.


So keep your rallying boots on for the mid-December showdown.

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