Juan Pablo Montoya won the 2017 Race of Champions at Marlins Park in Miami yesterday, defeating Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen in the final stage of the competition.
The 2015 Indy 500 winner, who is out of a full-time program this season in Indycar, didn’t put a foot wrong all day, delivering a stunning performance to beat 16 fellow motorsport stars and earn the ROC Champion of Champion title for his first participation in the thrilling event.
Four-time F1 world champion and ROC defending champion Sebastian Vettel was knocked out in the group stages.
Felipe Massa put up a solid opposition to Montoya at the semi-final stage. Driving identical ROC Buggies, the Williams diver actually beat the Colombian in their opening heat only to be hit with a five-second penalty for clipping a barrier on the exit of the final corner.
Montoya then put one over on the Brazilian in the second heat to advance to the final.
Kristensen , who was making a record-equaling 15th consecutive appearance at the ROC, reaching the final for the fifth time, defeated Jenson Button in a tight quarter-final round before edging out 2014 ROC winner David Coulthard at the semi-final stage.
In a group race, Pascal Wehrlein escaped unhurt after a huge ‘crash and roll’ with Felipe Massa which sent the German upside down into the barriers, fortunately with no physical consequence for himself or his passenger.