Dong Hebin wins ROC China 2009

08:42, November 04, 2009      

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A1GP racer and ex-Williams F1 test driver, Dong Hebin, has been crowned the inaugural ROC China champion on Monday, after defeating crowd favorite Han Han in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest in Beijing.


Race cars driven by Chinese drivers Dong Hebin (front) and Wei Hongjie compete in the Race of Champions Beijing 2009 at the National Stadium on November 2, 2009 in Beijing. The Race of Champions is an international motor sport event featuring some of the world's best racing and rally drivers from different disciplines including World Rally, Formula One and Nascar competing head to head using identical cars. (Photo:CFP)


A1GP racer and ex-Williams F1 test driver, Dong Hebin, has been crowned the inaugural ROC China champion on Monday, after defeating crowd favorite Han Han in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest in Beijing.

Dong Hebin came through a heat, quarter final, and semi final on his route to ROC China victory, each time deposing his fellow Chinese racing drivers. In the final, he faced novelist and rally driver, Han Han, crossing the line 2.2 seconds ahead to take the title.

ROC China kicks off the biggest ever Race of Champions event – this year's ROC covers three days of action, with The ROC Nations Cup on Tuesday, November 3 seeing drivers pair up to represent their country, and The Race of Champions, in which each driver guns for individual glory, on Wednesday, November 4.

His victory in ROC China hands Dong Hebin a place in The Race of Champions, in which he will go head to head against such motorsport legends as seven-time F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher, newly-crowned F1 World Champion, Jenson Button and eight-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen.

Dong Hebin and ROC China runner-up, Han Han, will also team up to form Team China in The ROC Nations Cup.

Dong Hebin said: “I am looking forward to tomorrow, when Han Han and I will team up for The ROC Nations Cup. Looking at our efforts today, I think we have a good chance, although we will be racing Michael Schumacher and all the others. I am confident that we will be a strong team.”

ROC China was not without incident – Dong Hebin's semi final rival, Wang Shaofeng, ended his challenge with a spectacular accident, in which he hit the wall and rolled his RX150 buggy. Ren Zhiguo also had a coming together with the concrete wall around the outside of the parallel tracks inside the Bird's Nest, putting him out of the very first heat against Han Han.

Monday's action also included the ROC Beijing Challenge, in which some of the racing stars who will later compete for The Race of Champions itself, raced against the Chinese drivers from ROC China.

A jubilant Emanuele Pirro emerged victorious, beating reigning Dakar Rally champion, Giniel de Villiers, in the final and marking himself out as a man to beat come The Race of Champions on Wednesday.

Five time Le Mans 24 Hour winner Pirro said: “I really, really enjoyed the event. I drove my 2002 Le Mans-winning car in Beijing several years ago so I've been here before. But the Bird's Nest is an unbelievable location for a car race. I've been really impressed at how nice the Chinese people are and I can see how they love their motor racing.”

Double Olympic shooting gold medalist, Yang Lin, was crowned the winner of the ROC Celebrity Challenge.

Source: CRI English
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