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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 December, 2004, 17:59 GMT
Kovalainen wins Race of Champions
Heikki Kovalainen
Kovalainen beat Formula One champion Michael Schumacher
Heikki Kovalainen humbled motorsport's biggest names by taking victory in the Race of Champions in Paris.

The Nissan World Series champion, also a Formula One test driver for Renault, sprang a big shock by ousting F1 legend Michael Schumacher in the semi-finals.

And the young Finn capped his day by beating World Rally star Sebastien Loeb in the final in front of 50,000 fans.

Drivers from across motorsport competed in a series of races, featuring Ferrari road cars, dune buggies and rally cars.

It's a fun event. I was less interested in being perfectly prepared for this
Michael Schumacher

Schumacher said he was not fully focused on winning the exhibition event, although he did beat Loeb in a special showdown in buggies between the world champions of F1 and rallying.

"It's quite interesting to do what we have done here," Schumacher said.

"The circuit was nice to drive and quite entertaining with the jumps. All of us have had a big smile on our face.

"It's a fun event. I was less interested in being perfectly prepared for this, because I see it as less serious."

British hopes were ended early as Scottish duo David Coulthard and Colin McRae lost in the first round.

Coulthard was easily beaten by Kovalainen over two laps, while McRae crashed at the very first turn.

McRae - who has ruled out a full-time return to World Rally - fought back to cross the line ahead of Mattias Ekstrom only to be docked 10 seconds for his early shunt.


SEE ALSO
Gordon quits motorsport showdown
03 Dec 04 |  Motorsport
Schumacher heads up Paris parade
02 Dec 04 |  Motorsport


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