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F1 veteran David Coulthard wins Race of Champions; Newgarden, Montoya, Castroneves fall short

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Formula One veteran David Coulthard captured his second Race Of Champions title Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The British driver, a 13-time F1 race winner, defeated two-time World Rallycross champion Petter Solberg in the final round at King Fahad International Stadium.

Coulthard also won the 2014 ROC.

It was Solberg’s first time in the ROC finals.

As for IndyCar and IMSA drivers, Helio Castroneves was eliminated in the first round, while Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden won their first round matches, but all three fell in their semifinals.

The two-day event began Friday, with team competition, while Saturday was solo driver finals.

Among vehicles drivers piloted were identically prepared Whelen NASCAR Euro, Xtreme Pickup, Ariel Atop Cup, Vuhl 05 ROC Edition, KTM X-Bow Comp R and a special made ROC car.

Here’s how Saturday’s rounds played out, first the Group elimination rounds, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and championship round:

GROUP A: Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Hunter-Reay advance, Helio Castroneves loses

GROUP B: David Coulthard and Tom Kristensen advance, Randy Van Buren loses

GROUP C: Johan Kristoffersson and Joel Eriksson advance, Rene Rast loses

GROUP D: Petter Solberg and Joseph Newgarden advance, Ahmed Bin Knanen loses

QUARTERFINAL ROUND 1: Tom Kristensen defeats Juan Pablo Montoya, David Coulthard defeats Ryan Hunter-Reay

QUARTERFINAL ROUND 2: Johan Kristoffersson defeats Josef Newgarden,
Petter Solberg defeats Joel Eriksson

SEMIFNALS: David Coulthard defeats Tom Kristensen, Petter Solberg defeats Johan Kristoffersson

FINAL ROUND: David Coulthard defeats Petter Solberg


Here’s how Friday’s final team round played out:


NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.