Saturday, 21 November 2015

Priaulx clinches Nations Cup for England 1

Team England 1 finally clinched the Race of Champions Nations Cup crown after defeating Team Germany in the final, ending years of heartbreak for British teams in the competition.

Andy Priaulx, teamed with fellow-BTCC star Jason Plato, defeated both Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg in the final, with the Force India driver beating Plato in the second of three final races.

England 1, the first of three home nation teams along with Team England 2 and Team Scotland, had to qualify for the quarter finals unlike most teams. They made light work of it however, beating the star studded Brazillian team of Felipe Massa and Nelson Piquet Jr. 2-0 in the preliminary round.

In the quarter final stage they defeated Team Young Stars made up of DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein and Jolyon Palmer 2-1, Priaulx beating both drivers and Plato falling to Wehrlein, before meeting Team England 2 in the semi final stage.

Team England 2 had beaten Team Scotland (David Coulthard and Susie Wolff) in the quarter finals to set up the all-England semi final showdown.

Priaulx faced off against Blancpain GT champion Alex Bumcombe wile Plato met Formula One superstar Jenson Button. Again it was Priaulx who won his race as Plato was beaten. Priaulx had to then race against Button in a tie-breaker race, defeating the 2009 F1 champion to set up a classic England-Germany encounter in the final.

Team Germany meanwhile defeated Team Australia consisting of Mick Doohan and Daniel Ricciardo before taking down the reigning champion Team Nordic pairing of Petter Solberg and Tom Kristensen at the semi final stage to reach the final.

First blood went to England 1 as Priaulx took down four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel in the Radical SR3 before Nico Hulkenberg made it one apiece by beating Plato in the Mercedes AMG GT.

Hulkenberg then met Priaulx in the tie-breaker race. The pair now in KTM X-Bows, it was Priaulx who prevailed, beating the F1 superteam to give a British team their first win in the ROC Nations Cup.

"That is awesome, we’ve lost in the final three times to Germany so it is great to finally get the win after countless attempts," said Priaulx after the final. "I had a great night, it is is fantastic to be here in front of the fans and I had a great race in the final."

Race of Champions - Nations Cup photo album

Image: Dominik Wilde

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