Meet the Greatest Motorsports Event You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Formula 1, NASCAR and IndyCar play a game of H-O-R-S-E

January 12, 2017 9:00 am

Do you remember when Michael Jordan and Larry Bird played HORSE for a Big Mac and fries?

That’s essentially what happens at the Race of Champions, except the top drivers from Formula 1, the World Rally Championship, Le Mans, NASCAR and IndyCar race head-to-head for the title of “World’s Greatest Driver,” rather than, you know, shooting trick shots for a bag of Mickey D’s.

Created in 1988, the annual event allows racing stars who don’t usually get to drive against one another to compete in a round-robin tournament consisting of a series of races held in succession on the same track in identical cars. With each progressive round, the vehicles change, which means racers have to be proficient at driving anything on four wheels — or three. During the finals of the two-day event — which also has a separate Ryder Cup-style tourney featuring teams based on nationality — a driver has to take two out of three races to win it all.

Race of Champions Cars (5 images)

If any of that sounds at all appealing, you’ll be happy to know this year’s ROC is coming to the U.S. for the first time and will be held on January 21 and 22 at Marlin’s Park in Miami.

“To win the Race Of Champions, drivers need to prove themselves in a range of different cars to test their skills and versatility to the limit. At ROC Miami we will feature a wide range of classic favorites and all-new vehicles,” said ROC president Fredrik Johnsson. “The cars are specially prepared for the ROC and it will be fascinating to see how the world’s top drivers adapt.”

Those cars (including a VUHL 05 ROC Edition, RX Supercar Lite and three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot SLR) will run in stunt events as well as the races so guests can see their full range.  

Single-day tickets start at just $18 and this is where to go to let the ROC take your money.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.