Motorsport

MLB team host Race of Champions motor racing extravaganza

Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT) January 20, 2017
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The Miami Marlins stadium is playing host to the Race of Champions, exchanging turf for racetrack. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Florida's Marlins Park, home to MLB team Miami Marlins, is taking on the challenge as it hosts motorsport's Race of Champions (ROC) on January 22-23.

The first job is to cover the baseball diamond to protect the field of play. "875 aluminum panels protect the substructure of the field," explains ROC president Fredrik Johnsson.
Miami Marlins, Julio Jauregui
Next, the diggers move in to begin constructing the bespoke track which loops around the outfield. "It will have taken approximately 100-120 hours to build the complete layout," Johnsson says. Miami Marlins, Julio Jauregui
Once the layout of the track is down, attention turns to laying down the asphalt for the cars to go racing on. A single lap of the ROC racetrack is 613 meters (670 yards) long. Miami Marlins, Julio Jauregui
Just days before the event the final touches are being made to the Race of Champions circuit. "This is a very unique event because of the impact that it has on the field," explains Claude Delorme, the Miami Marlins executive vice president of operations and events. Miami Marlins, Julio Jauregui
Turf's up! The transformation is complete and the Marlins Park indoor racetrack is now ready to be graced by some of the world's star racing drivers. Miami Marlins, Eddie Fernandez
If the roof of the Marlins' ballpark, built in 2012, stays open during ROC it will reveal stunning views of downtown Miami. "They will also see the entire race from every angle perfectly from their seats," Delorme says. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
The 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (left) and NASCAR driver -- and baseball fan -- Kurt Busch (right) meet Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon ahead of ROC. Diego Texera 8514 SW 103 Ave Mia
Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel is the reigning ROC champion after winning his first title at the London event in 2015. "The Race of Champions reminds us why we all first started racing," says the Ferrari driver. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
ROC is coming to North America for the first time in 2017. The event has been staged at some of the iconic sporting venues around the globe including the Olympic Stadium in London (seen here), the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing and Paris' Stade de France. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher -- who remains in recovery from a serious ski accident in 2013 -- was a regular at the ROC and celebrates winning the team title with fellow German Vettel in 2010. Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images