Montoya, Kristensen, Norris join 2018 ROC line-up

Juan Pablo Montoya, Tom Kristensen and McLaren Formula 1 junior Lando Norris are among the first drivers to be confirmed for the 2018 Race of Champions.

Montoya, Kristensen, Norris join 2018 ROC line-up
Tom Kristensen
Team Nordic Tom Kristensen, races Team Germany Sebastian Vettel, driving the Radical SR3 RSX
Team Germany Sebastian Vettel, beats Team Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya, driving the Ariel Atom Cup
Lando Norris, Carlin, Dallara Volkswagen
Team Germany Sebastian Vettel, races Team Nordic Tom Kristensen, driving the Radical SR3 RSX
Tony Kanaan, Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya
Podium: Lando Norris, Carlin, Dallara Volkswagen

Montoya, the reigning ROC Champion of champions, will defend his title at the King Fahd International Stadium in Saudi Arabia, which will host an international motorsport even for the first time.

Organisers have also confirmed the first ROC event to be held in the Middle East will take place on February 2-3 2018.

Norris was runner-up in the Macau Grand Prix last weekend and will make his debut in the ROC event, and is among a line-up that also includes 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard and double World Rallycross champion Petter Solberg.

IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden will also contest the event, as will Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay, with more drivers to be announced in the coming months.

"When I came to the Race Of Champions for the first time this year I immediately regretted never having done it before," said Montoya.

"It was an amazing experience and Fredrik Johnsson [ROC president] and his team put together an amazing event. It's all about fun but when you go to the grid it's unbelievable how focused you are. It's like qualifying.

"Experience plays a part too: after a few laps you start getting the hang of the cars, but you can also mess it up really bad."

Nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Kristensen added: "The Race Of Champions is very much a sprint - man and machine against each other and the clock.

"It's about skill and determination as you jump into a car you've done very little practice in. So it's a great challenge and a great spectacle and it's an event I'm sure will go well in Riyadh.

"I spent eight months in Saudi Arabia with my family as a teenager because my Dad worked there, so it will be interesting to come back.

"I always take happiness and pride in taking part in the Race Of Champions.

"Over the years there have been so many drivers with so much speed, talent and grit competing, it's always very motivating."

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