Having contested his two tests at the pinnacle of motor racing for the Lotus F1 Team and the Scuderia Ferrari, Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) now may look forward to the next highlight on his calendar: the reigning FIA Fórmula 3 European Champion was invited by the Race of Champions (ROC) organisers to participate in this year’s edition of the tradition-rich event and accepted the invitation. Consequently, he will travel to Barbados to battle it out with champions and top stars of other motor-racing categories in mid-December.
“The invitation to the Race of Champions represents a dream come true,” said Ocon. “When I was a child, I was in the Stade de France to witness the ROC action - and now I’m one of the selected drivers. I generally like tracks with a lot of corners. For me, the biggest challenge at Barbados will be to race a tin-top racer as I have driven only single-seaters, in my career to date. I have not even got a driving license. But I think that I will be able to cope with this challenge, too”.
In the ROC, held on 13th and 14th December, Ocon will have to compete with the likes of nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, reining Indy 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay, multi-time V8 Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup, reigning FIA World Rally-Cross Champion Petter Solberg, reigning World Touring Car Champion José-Maria Lopez and other motor-racing greats. In addition to fighting for the drivers’ title on Sunday, he also will contest the Nations Cup together with his compatriot Romain Grosjean who won the 2013 Race of Champions. “I have known Romain for several years and it’s just great to be teamed up with him. I hope that we will be able to jointly secure a good result for France, on Saturday. But it goes without saying that I would love to beat him in the battle for the drivers’ title on Sunday”.
ROC organiser Fredrik Johansson was delighted about the acceptance of the successful Lotus F1 junior. “Esteban currently is one of the best up-and-coming drivers. In addition, the ROC history featured numerous promising young guns that gave the established drivers a very hard time and partly also secured very good results. And Esteban could add a new chapter to this streak of successes”.
Photo: FIA F3 Euro Series