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International event turns Marlins Park into a racetrack

January 18, 2017

Why yes, you are seeing an asphalt track on the field at Marlins Park.

The field is transforming for the North American debut of the Race of Champions, a competition that dates back to 1988.

The Race of Champions, taking place Jan. 21-22,  will pit 20 star drivers from different circuits—such as Formula One, World Rally Championship, IndyCar, NASCAR and more—in a head-to-head competition, the Sun Sentinel reported.

But there’s a catch; they aren’t just racing in their own cars. No, this event was designed to end the “World’s Greatest Driver” debate.

To level the playing field, this head-to-head battle showcases races between star racers on the very same track, in the very same car. Or as the Race of Champions website puts it, this “a knockout tournament so mistakes prove terminal – and the drivers have to prove themselves in a variety of vehicles. But there’s no blaming the machinery because everyone gets the same kit. Put simply, the best driver will win.”

And what about the field? 

According to’s interview with Race of Champions Founder Fredrik Johnsson, it takes about a week to build the track inside the stadium, and they’ve had years of practice setting it up. Most recently, the event traveled to London’s Olympic Stadium in 2015.

That track will be broken up and removed by next Wednesday, the Sentinel Sun went on to say, and early next month Marlins crews will finish restoring the baseball surface and lay in new Platinum TE Paspalum sod from Alabama in preparation for the first round of the World Baseball Classic, March 9-13.

Check out the tweets below for a better idea of how the races will work, as well as a time lapse video of the field’s transformation.

This is posted in Baseball/Softball, News

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