WSR: Rowland extends championship lead with Silverstone victory

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Oliver Rowland extended his lead at the top of the Formula Renault 3.5 drivers’ championship to 36 points by winning on home soil at Silverstone on Sunday.

Rowland started the race from second place on the grid behind title rival Matthieu Vaxiviere, who stormed to pole position earlier in the day by posting a new lap record.

Vaxiviere made a good start to build an early lead over Rowland, but this was lost thanks to a slow pit stop that left the Frenchman down in third place.

Despite fighting back to re-take second place from Pietro Fantin and then close on Rowland at the front, Vaxiviere dropped back from the Briton to give him some breathing room.

Rowland eventually crossed the line to claim his fifth win of the season and his seven successive finish on the podium, tightening his stranglehold on the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.

“I have won every track this year, except Monaco and I also wanted to do it at home, even though I didn’t think I had much of a chance to do it at the start of the weekend,” Rowland said.

“I had to battle early on because Pietro was right behind me where I couldn’t see him. I attacked as much as possible and used the DRS to pull away and try to overtake Matthieu in the pits.

“The safety car didn’t make thing easy for me, but it is an excellent point scenario even though I am still not thinking about the title.”

With six races remaining, the Briton is in a strong position to following Carlos Sainz Jr’s footsteps and win the F1 feeder series, but will remain wary of the threat posed by Vaxiviere behind.

Fantin picked up his first podium finish of the season in third, beating Red Bull junior driver Dean Stoneman. Nicholas Latifi finished fifth ahead of Egor Orudzhev and Nick Yelloly, with the latter finishing seventh in just his second Formula Renault 3.5 race of the year.

The World Series by Renault programme heads to the Nürburgring in Germany next weekend for the third to last round of the season.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change