Indian drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok bagged the win in the inaugural ROC Asia Cup at the 2012 Race of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand. The Indian duo joined forces for the very first time in their ROC debut appearance. They topped the group eliminations with four wins out of six, making them the favorites in the finals.

Thai driver Sritrai aboard the Toyota 86

Also competing in the first-ever ROC Asia Cup were China, Japan and Thailand. China was represented by F1 test driver and Formula BMW Asia Champion Ho-Pin Tung and rally driver and China’s most popular blogger Han Han. Japan was represented by Toyota Team Gazoo Racing drivers Kazuya Ohshima and Takuto Iguchi, who were class winners in this year’s Nurburgring 24-Hour race. Host country Thailand was represented by Nattavud Charoensukhpawatana and Tin Sritrai who qualified earlier as the official representatives.

The Indian drivers faced off with the Japanese drivers in the finals. Both Karthikeyan and Chandhok bested their Chinese rivals to take the title. Team India gains the right to represent Asia in the ROC Nations Cup along with host country Thailand. 

"This is the first time at the Race Of Champions for both myself and Karun and I’ve really enjoyed this event so far. It’s a unique format and it’s pretty tight and narrow out there. So it was a challenge to put a precise lap together in any of the cars. But it’s just about getting the best out of each car. You need to adapt very quickly without any mistakes, as you need a clean lap. We’re happy to come out on top, now we can look forward to the rest of the event. We’re up for the challenge and we’ll take on the world tomorrow!" said Karthikeyan.