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Race of Champions to stage maiden event in United States

Motorsport event the Race of Champions (ROC) will be staged in the United States for the first time next year, with Miami confirmed as the host city.

The 2017 ROC will be held on January 21-22 at the 37,000-capacity Marlins Park, home of Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Miami Marlins. ROC organisers said Miami held off bids from across the world to land the hosting rights, with the event set to take place inside the confines of the ballpark.

London’s former Olympic Stadium held the most recent edition of the ROC from November 20-21 last year. In recent years, the ROC has also visited the Stade de France in Paris (2004-2006), London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium in Beijing (2009), Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena (2010-2011), the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok (2012) and Bushy Park in Barbados (2014).

ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: “We are thrilled to be bringing the Race of Champions to the United States at last. Miami’s Marlins Park is a wonderful venue and it’s our first time inside a baseball stadium. Rest assured we will put together a truly memorable event for fans of fast cars and even faster drivers.”

The ROC brings together some of the world’s greatest drivers from motorsport’s major disciplines – including Formula One, Nascar, IndyCar, Le Mans, MotoGP, World Rally and the X Games – and pits them against each other in identical machinery.

Germany’s four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel took his first ROC Champion of Champions title in London last year and has been confirmed to defend his crown in Miami.

The first American drivers to sign up for ROC Miami have been unveiled as Nascar champion Kurt Busch and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.