Team America is going EV for the Race of Champions.
For the 2023 edition of the Race of Champions (ROC), competitors including Sebastian Vettel, Tanner Foust, and Travis Pastrana, will be piloting the all-electric Cupra UrbanRebel Racing Concept in a series of head-to-head races on snow and ice.
The annual Race of Champions is the only motorsport event that seeks to find out which race driver is the best in the world, pitting rally drivers against F1 drivers and even e-sports drivers as of last year.
The last person left standing will be crowned the Champion of Champions.
This year the USA will be represented by Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust, They will compete against fellow Rallycross Champions Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg. Mika Hakkinen, Mick Schumacher, Valtteri Bottas, and Sebastian Vettel will represent F1, while Jamie Chadwick will fly the flag for the W Series.
The full line-up of drivers has not been confirmed, but we do know a bit about the concept car, which dates back to 2021.
Cupra built two concepts for the race, and they deliver a constant power supply of 335 horsepower and up to 430 hp at peak performance. It may be a concept, but it's built on the Volkswagen Group's MEB short platform with one motor up front and one at the rear. Cupra claims it can get to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, so it's basically in the same straight-line performance league as the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT.
But straight-line speed is hardly important, as the race will take place in Pite Havsbad, 60 miles from the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden. This year, ROC will once again be held on ice, where last year, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 was among several vehicles raced that included ATVs and electric rally cars.
"The Cupra UrbanRebel Racing Concept is the personification of what is achievable when you combine racing and electrification, and the Race Of Champions is the ultimate event to show the excitement it can deliver with the best drivers from around the world behind the wheel," said Antonino Labate, director of strategy and business operations at Cupra.
This year's race is said to be the toughest yet, as the track is built on the frozen Baltic Sea. As usual, it will be a parallel track, and this year it includes a bridge for extra flamboyance.
The current record for the most ROC wins is shared by Didier Auriol (WRC) and Sebastian Loeb, with four wins each. Loeb will not attend this year, which allows the recently-retired Sebastian Vettel (three victories) to match the other Seb's record and his four F1 world championship titles. Or maybe Team America will take it...
The Race Of Champions takes place on the 28 and 29 January.