London’s Olympic Stadium to host 2015 Race of Champions


London has been named as the host city for the 2015 Race of Champions event that pits racing drivers from an array of different series up against each other in a multi-discipline challenge.

The Race of Champions graced London back in 2007 and 2008 at Wembley Stadium, and has since been held in Dusseldorf, Beijing, Bangkok and Bushy Park, Barbados.

However, the event will return to London in 2015 at the stadium used to host the 2012 Olympic Games, which is now being used as a multi-purpose sporting venue.

Taking place on November 20 and 21, drivers from Formula 1, rallying, touring cars and other championships will race against each other in both team and individual events.

Last year’s winner David Coulthard was on hand to announce the news, and is confident that it will be one of the best ROC events to date.

“It’s fantastic that the Race Of Champions is coming to London,” Coulthard said. “Each of the events has been special in its own way but with so much racing heritage in the UK and as a Brit myself, to host it here in an iconic venue like the former Olympic Stadium is a big deal.

“I’m sure it will be the best one so far. There seem to be some people who aren’t enjoying this Formula 1 season as much as previous years. If they want to rediscover the reason why they enjoy motor sport, they should come along to the Race Of Champions.

“The stadium environment is what makes it special. You look down on the cars from the grandstands so it gives you a view you wouldn’t get in many venues. When it comes to getting so close to the action, the nearest thing would be Monaco in F1.”

ROC president Fredrik Johansson was pleased to formally confirm that London would be hosting the event, believing that the event will once again welcome an array of motorsport stars.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the Race Of Champions back to London in such an iconic venue,” Johansson said. “The former Olympic Stadium is a stunning location and we have grabbed this chance to offer people a last chance to see it before it closes for eight months for more reconstruction.

“That means the only available date is slightly earlier than usual for ROC but we know we will put together another truly exceptional list of participants from the world’s main motor sport series. Now we look forward to welcoming a packed crowd to enjoy the sight of some of the world’s best drivers battling it out in this glorious arena.”

The Olympic Stadium is poised to host games for the Rugby World Cup later this year ahead of the Race of Champions, and will then be closed for redevelopment as it becomes the new home of soccer club West Ham United.

IndyCar Power Rankings: Pato O’Ward moves to the top entering Texas Motor Speedway


The NBC Sports IndyCar power rankings naturally were as jumbled as the action on the streets of St. Petersburg after a chaotic opener to the 2023 season.

Pato O’Ward, who finished second because of an engine blip that cost him the lead with a few laps remaining, moves into the top spot ahead of St. Pete winner Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi, who finished fourth in his Arrow McLaren debut. Scott Dixon and St. Pete pole-sitter Romain Grosjean (who led 31 laps) rounded out the top five.

St. Pete pole-sitter Romain Grosjean (who started first at St. Pete after capturing his second career pole position) Callum Ilott (a career-best fifth) and Graham Rahal entered the power rankings entering the season’s second race.

Three drivers fell out of the preseason top 10 after the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – including previously top-ranked Josef Newgarden, who finished 17th after qualifying 14th.

Heading into Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, here’s NBC Sports’ assessment of the current top 10 drivers through the first of 17 races this year (with previous preseason rankings in parenthesis):

NBC Sports’ IndyCar Power Rankings

1. Pato O’Ward (5) – If not for the dreaded “plenum event” in the No. 5 Chevrolet, the Arrow McLaren driver is opening the season with a victory capping a strong race weekend.

2. Marcus Ericsson (7) – He might be the most opportunistic driver in IndyCar, but that’s because the 2022 Indy 500 winner has become one of the series’ fastest and most consistent stars.

3. Alexander Rossi (10) – He overcame a frustrating Friday and mediocre qualifying to open his Arrow McLaren career with the sort of hard-earned top five missing in his last years at Andretti.

4. Scott Dixon (3) – Put aside his opening-lap skirmish with former teammate Felix Rosenqvist, and it was a typically stealthily good result for the six-time champion.

5. Romain Grosjean (NR) – The St. Petersburg pole-sitter consistently was fastest on the streets of St. Petersburg over the course of the race weekend, which he couldn’t say once last year.

6. Scott McLaughlin (6) – Easily the best of the Team Penske drivers before his crash with Grosjean, McLaughlin drove like a legitimate 2023 championship contender.

7. Callum Ilott (NR) – A quietly impressive top five for the confident Brit in Juncos Hollinger Racing’s first race as a two-car team. Texas will be a big oval litmus test.

8. Graham Rahal (NR) – Sixth at St. Pete, Rahal still has the goods on street courses, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan remains headed in the right direction.

9. Alex Palou (4) – He seemed a step behind Ericsson and Dixon in the race after just missing the Fast Six in qualifying, but this was a solid start for Palou.

10. Will Power (2) – An uncharacteristic mistake that crashed Colton Herta put a blemish on the type of steady weekend that helped him win the 2022 title.

Falling out (last week): Josef Newgarden (1), Colton Herta (8), Christian Lundgaard (9)