Mexican rallying star Benito Guerra was crowned as the 2019 Champion of Champions at this year’s Race of Champions, with impressive performances from old hands, up-and-coming talents and the reigning eROC winner.
The annual event, in which dozens of the top drivers from the world of motorsport compete against each other in identical machinery – such as the VUHL 05 ROC Edition 2019, Ariel Atom Cup, Stadium Super Truck, RX, Speed SXS UTV and KTM X-Bow – was held in the stadium of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City.
The contest had two representatives of the current Formula One field; Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly.
The ever-competitive Team Germany – this time with Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari F1 colleague Mick Schumacher – made it through to the Nations Cup final, but were beaten by the legendary racing drivers of Team Nordic; Tom Kristensen and Johan Kristoffersson.
In the three-heat final, Vettel lost out to Kristensen, with Schumacher pulling a heat back against Kristoffersson, but nine-time Le Mans winner Kristensen was too strong for Schumacher in the final heat, securing the win for Team Nordic.
Pierre Gasly formed one-half of Team France (partnering Le Mans winner Loic Duval), but they failed to make it out of the group stages.
In the individual Race of Champions contest – which also included David Coulthard, Josef Newgarden and Andy Priaulx – Mexico’s Guerra beat both Formula One drivers to reach the semi-final and set up an all-Mexican contest with former F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez, which he won to reach the final.
He faced Loic Duval in the three-heat final, but only required two heats to take the 2019 crown.
Pierre Gasly had progressed to the knock-out stages, but was beaten by Guerra in the quarter-finals. Vettel, meanwhile, was unable to make it out of the groups stages after defeats by Guerra and Schumacher.
In other upsets, last year’s winner in the sim racing ROC contest, Enzo Bonito, claimed wins against well-established drivers.
Bonito – who will be competing for McLaren in the F1 eSports Series – took a win against Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Raey in the group stages of the individual ROC competition, and defeated Formula E Champion Lucas di Grassi in the Nations Cup.
By: Luke Murphy
All images: Race of Champions