Coventry based venue Ricoh Arena launched a campaign today to host the 2014 Race of Champions, a major international motor sport event where the world’s best racing and rally drivers come together to race in identical cars.
Drivers including Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and current leader of the World Rally Championship Sebastien Ogier will drive against each other.
The decision will be significantly influenced by people across the globe as the voting opens to choose the location. But Ricoh Arena CEO Jacky Isaac said that her team needs to convince the organisers to come to the venue – not an easy task, considering the high profile international stadiums in competition.
“On top of helping us bring a world class event to the region, everyone who votes has a chance to win prizes, including a TAG Heuer watch and cool new Race Of Champions merchandise as well as the opportunity to secure the best seats at a reduced price if we win,” Isaac said.
Richo Arena is the only UK venue on the nine-strong list, which includes: Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Stade de France, Paris, France; Doha, Qatar; Bushy Park Circuit, Barbados; Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden; Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, Germany; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany; and the Circuit of The Americas, Austin, USA.
Wembley hosted the event in 2007 and 2008, so hopes are high that the UK is in with another shot this year. Hosting the end of season finale of an event that brings together drivers from Formula 1, the World Rally Championships, Le Mans, MotoGP, NASCAR, IndyCar, Touring Cars, and the X Games will not only be a huge victory for the venue but also for the Midlands.
“After the event taking place at Wembley Stadium, Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, the Stade de France in Paris, the National Stadium in Bangkok and many other prestigious venues, we are one of the final candidates still in the running to host the 2014 event,” said Isaac. “It would be a massive coup for the Midlands and the Ricoh Arena to host the Race Of Champions – but we need your support!”
If the venue does host the event, Isaac said that the cars would use the Jaguar Exhibition Halls as a paddock area before driving down the tunnels into the stadium bowl. The pitch, meanwhile, would be used as a racetrack.
“One of the big benefits of the Ricoh Arena we believe is that spectators would be really close to the action,” she added. “We know we have the facilities, the infrastructure, the partnerships and experience to deliver a great event not to mention the passion and enthusiasm that is so real that you can feel it from our staff at the venue and the City Council who have worked tirelessly to help get this far in the bidding process.”
“When we hosted Olympic football here in 2012 we lived up to the occasion magnificently, and showed the world what a brilliant city Coventry is at hosting international events,” said Cllr Ann Lucas OBE, Leader of Coventry City Council. “Thousands of visitors were impressed by the warm welcome we gave them, the facilities at the Ricoh and the festival atmosphere across the city. I think that’s going to be a great selling point for the Ricoh’s bid, and I hope everyone can get behind Coventry to bring the Race Of Champions to the Midlands and to the UK.”
To cast your vote please visit http://www.raceofchampions.com/voteforvenue
If you have more news for us, please email Jennifer Le Roux.
image: A bird’s eye view of the Race of Champions track at Wembley