Ekstrom and Pastrana ROC

In the past two years, Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. has featured athletes Robbie Maddison and Rhys Millen as they amazed the world with brilliant, record-breaking stunts s jumping the length of a football field, the Arc de Triomphe Step Up/Step Down and the Truck Backflip. This year, it’s Travis Pastrana’s turn. We count down to New Year with a look at some of Travis’s magic moments…

Number 4: Going solo at the ROC

When Pastrana arrived at the Race of Champions in 2006, the FMX rider-cum-rally driver might not have been too familiar to European audiences. Just how would he measure up against some of the best that F1, WRC and Le Mans could offer as he lined up in Paris against the likes of Sébastien Loeb, David Coulthard, Tom Kristensen and Colin McRae?

Pretty well, as it turned out. Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR’s dominant driver, was injured (he broke a wrist falling off a golf cart) and couldn’t race. Then his replacement Scott Speed picked up an injury, meaning U.S. hopes rested on Travis’s shoulders.

He responded by driving every race for the USA – the extra practice turned out to be a huge advantage, he admitted later – and reached the final of the Nations’ Cup. In the end, he was edged out by Team Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen, but not before defeating WRC champion Marcus Grönholm, who was the first to congratulate the American.


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