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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was clipped off a news page. Note that DIGGINS is in for the U.K.!!! ROC takes place 11/29 in Canary Islands, I think at Michelle Muoton's "ranch"...


The annual speed-fest to decide who's the fastest nation, the Michelin ROC Nations Cup (Saturday, November 29), is taking shape. France and Sweden were the first to declare their trio; the UK, Finland, Germany, USA, Spain and an All Stars ensemble have now followed suit, with just Italy still to confirm their bike star.

Last year's surprise winners, USA are back to defend their title and bring with them the first team title sponsorship in ROC Nations Cup history, American financial services company CENTRIX Financial. The U.S. will be represented by extreme sports star, Travis Pastrana, teamed with NASCAR racer, Casey Mears, and 2002 Trans-Am Champion, Boris Said. The team that the Americans defeated in last year's final, Italy, have summoned back 2002 European Rally Champion, Renato Travaglia from their last line-up, who will be partnered by Bentley's Le Mans-winning, Rinaldo Capello. A number of high profile names are currently vying for the all-important bike place.




The semi-final losers in 2002 were France and Finland. The French were first out of the traps for 2003, announcing a powerful team of Sebastien Loeb, Olivier Panis and Randy de Puniet and Finland has kept two of last year's drivers, Marcus Gronholm and JJ Lehto, adding double Enduro World Champion, Samuli Aro. Finland won the first ROC Nations Cup in 1999 and France was victorious the next year in 2000; both are hungry to repeat this success.

Looking to bounce back after poor performances in 2002 are the UK and Germany, both of whom were eliminated having won only one heat in the group phase. The UK trio will comprise ALMS star, Johnny Herbert, 2003 SCCA ProRally Champion, David Higgins, and many people's favourite to win next year's World Superbike Championship, Ducati's James Toseland.

The German entry will see the return of Sauber F1 driver, Nick Heidfeld, who will be supported by Kawasaki Moto GP rider, Alex Hofmann, and Armin Kremer, currently lying second in the 2003 Asia Pacific Rally Championship
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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Oh My God...

Boris and Travis I can see why, but Casey?
He doesn't know what a right is... :+
Boris and Travis at least know what loose dirt is.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: mears as a roundy-rounder

Maybe some of you don't know the Mears family as off-road specialists, Rick being taken from Baja to Indy cars by Mr. Penske.
from http://www.caseymears.com/mearsgang.html

"...some may consider Mears to be a rookie in stock cars altogether. Mears has spent relatively little time in the full-fendered cars. Mears? track record dates back to 1982 when the Bakersfield, Calif., native was just four years old. That?s when he began racing BMX bicycles before graduating to ATV?s at Bakersfield Speedway in 1984.

"Racing is all I?ve ever known, but there were times growing up when my parents would encourage me to try other things," Mears explains. "The racing lifestyle may seem abnormal to some people, but it?s normal to me. When I was younger and in school my teachers always wondered why I missed school on Friday?s and Monday?s. Little did they know I was off visiting a different part of the country every weekend and racing or watching my dad race."

After racing in go-karts for a season in 1991, Mears began competing in the SuperLites Off-Road Series in 1992 where he posted several top-three finishes. Just two years later Mears again made a quick advancement in his career by beginning to compete in the Jim Russell USAC Triple Crown Championship with a win at Mesa Marin Raceway.

In the midst of trying to divert his attention away from racing during his early teenage years, his parents realized that after the 1995 season, it would have taken a small hurricane to pull their son away from racing. In 1995, Mears captured the Jim Russell USAC Triple Crown Championship after finishing third in 1994. Following his championship season, Mears had a much clearer vision as to what his future would be like, and it definitely included racing.

"I was well aware of the risks I was taking to pursue a career in racing," Mears admitted. "I saw my dad struggle through good years and bad years. Racing is one of those careers which requires commitment and 110 percent effort all of the time."

Mears continued to progress through the ranks and in 1996 he made his Indy Lights Championship Series debut at the Cleveland Grand Prix and finished eighth. In 1997, Mears competed full-time in the Indy Lights Championship Series and in 1999 he finished second in the points championship, losing by just 14 points. He was also just the fourth driver in Indy Lights Series history to complete every lap in a single season. Mears continued to compete in the Indy Lights Series in 2000 and won his first race at the Grand Prix of Houston in October.

After testing Indy Cars for multiple teams in 2000, Mears was offered a chance to drive a third entry for Team Rahal at California Speedway in October. After qualifying 15th and leading 10 laps, Mears posted a career-best fourth finish in his CART Series debut.

Mears ran three IRL events at the start of the 2001 season before eventually finishing up the season by filling in for the injured Alex Zanardi in the CART Series, where he posted one top-10 finish in four starts. Prior to the end of the 2001 CART season Mears began to speak with Wayne Jesel, a partner in the reorganized Welliver-Jesel Motorsports organization. Besides a couple of testing sessions with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2000, Mears had really never set foot in a stock car until his stock car debut. Mears entered the ARCA Series event at Talladega Superspeedway in a car fielded by Welliver-Jesel Motorsports in October 2001. Mears finished a respectable ninth-place and the wheels of motion began to turn. By season?s end, Mears landed his first Busch Series opportunity at Homestead-Miami Speedway and was named to drive the No. 66 Welliver-Jesel Motorsports entry for the 2002 season.

Mears joined a veteran Busch Series team that knows what it takes to run up front. The team experienced an uncharacteristic season in 2001, but finished a strong third in the Busch Series standings in 2000 through 2002.

Mears joined up with Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for the 2003 season."

rz
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RE: ROC and the Americans

Dunno exactly who chooses the teams, but I imagine that the sponsor-Michelin- chooses an organizing committee who makes the choice...

Here is a PR snippet. The ALL STARS Team WON (against the Spanish team) and beat the Americans in the Semi-Finals along the way...



"Team-mate, Panizzi was similarly charged: ?I love this event. It's all about putting on a show ? and from the crowd's reaction, I don't think we let them down. I really enjoyed racing the Peugeot WRC. It's a car which I have grown fond of, so it's great for us to part company on a high. If I can win tomorrow, it will be even better.?


The All Stars' route to the final involved a three heats to two victory against the USA in the semi-final, having topped their qualification group in Round 1. Team USA powered by Centrix Financial were looking to complete the first ever back-to-back victory in the competition, and didn't fall far short. Their biker, X-Games star, Travis Pastrana, remained unbeaten and was clearly thrilled by every minute, particularly in light of his decision to combine four wheeled competition with his biking from next season:

?I have adored this event, it's such a fantastic atmosphere. I love the ROC Cars. I am currently looking to race in next year's American Rally Championship and this has made me hungrier than ever to pursue that goal. ?I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Peugeot 206 WRC in the Race of Champions.?
 
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