Jeff and Jimmie On The Far Side of the World

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 18)- - Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson will take on the world's best rally drivers in this year's Nations Cup element of the Michelin Race of Champions. Multiple X-Games champion Travis Pastrana will join Gordon and Johnson to represent the United States in the event, which takes place on Gran Canaria (Grand Canary Island) off the coast of Morocco from November 29-December 1.

The Michelin Race of Champions is a weekend head-to-head duel between stars of motorsport in a side-by-side rallysprint-style. The contest involves each participating nation entering a team of three, comprising one rally or off-road driver, one circuit racer, and one bike rider. "I love the format of the event," said Gordon. "Pitting the best drivers in the world from all forms of motorsports against each other in a head-to-head elimination contest will be exciting." His NASCAR teammate will handle the off road chores.

"Personally, I can't wait for the competition," said Johnson. "Jeff is going to be our asphalt driver and Travis is going to be our bike rider, so that leaves me racing against the off road guys. It will be very challenging competing against top drivers like Marcus Gronholm, Colin McRae and the other dirt specialists in the competition. I grew up on off-road racing and have raced in the Baja 1000 and in the stadium truck series in the mid-1990s, so I'm confident that I'll be able to hold my own and compete against the best in the world."

The teams will compete in world rally cars on a parallel track that is 30 percent asphalt and 70 percent gravel. NASCAR driver Robby Gordon competed in the event in 2001. Up and down that Spanish highway, some things remain the same.

+The parallel track in Gran Canaria | +History/geographic lesson
(2.6 kilometer track comprised of asphalt and gravel)

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