Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas will join the likes of Sébastien Loeb, Petter Solberg and Mattias Ekström by competing in next year’s Race of Champions.
The 2022 showpiece event will be held on snow and ice for the first time in its history, taking place in Norrbotten, Sweden.
Bottas, who will move from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo in F1 over the off-season, has never taken part in the RoC before but does have tangible loose-surface experience, having competed on the Arctic Rally three times in World Rally Car machinery.
“I’m really looking forward to finally be able to compete in the Race of Champions after watching the event on TV for many years,” said Bottas.
“The fact that this year’s event will be held on snow and ice makes it even more interesting.
“I’ve competed in the Arctic Rally a few times so hopefully that experience will help as we aim to beat the strong competition and especially our Nordic neighbors from Sweden and Norway to add to Finland’s many wins both in the individual RoC and the RoC Nations Cup.”
Further cars – and drivers – will be announced at a later date but Bottas will get his hands on at least an RX2e rallycross car and a Porsche GT4 racer.
He joins Loeb, Ekström, Solberg and his son Oliver, Johan Kristoffersson, Tom Kristensen and 2021 American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National Champion Travis Pastrana on the provisional entry list.
RoC president Fredrik Johnsson added: “Valtteri has told us for several years that he would like to participate in the Race of Champions and we are very happy that he is finally able to make his RoC debut in our first RoC World Final on snow and ice.
“Finland has a proud history at the Race of Champions and it will be fascinating to see how the longstanding sporting rivalry between Finland and host nation Sweden plays out.
“We always have a lot of very fast drivers at RoC, but the new parallel ice track on the frozen ocean will be a big X factor.”