The annual Race of Champions has been moved from Wembley – its home for the past two years – to Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium (left), which hosted the 2008 Olympics.
Instead of the usual weekend date, the 2009 event will take place midweek on November 3/4, two days after the last F1 race of the season. It is the first time the contest will have been held over two days, with the Nations Cup on Tuesday and the Race of Champions on Wednesday.
Fredrik Johnsson, president of event organiser IMP, said: “After the incredible Olympics last year, Beijing’s candidacy was difficult to ignore. Having spent the last five years at two of Europe’s biggest stadiums [Wembley and the Stade de France], we were thrilled to take the Race of Champions to Asia for the first time.”
The new date may not only make it hard for F1 stars to attend (despite direct flights from Abu Dhabi) – it also comes before the end of the NASCAR season.