Qualifying postponed until Sunday morning


UPDATE: The NBC Sports Network will air qualifying coverage at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The race will air live at 2 a.m. ET.

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed until Sunday morning after wet weather prevented the completion of all three sessions.

The teams did manage to get out for Q1 after a thirty minute delay, but many of the drivers struggled in the wet conditions. Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, Giedo van der Garde and Esteban Gutierrez all went off, with the latter three drivers having to pit for repairs.

At the end of Q1, the FIA decided to delay the session once again to assess the conditions, only for the rain to intensify making the completion of qualifying impossible.

The results from Q1 will remain, leaving sixteen drivers competing in the rest of qualifying. As teams are under parc ferme conditions, they will not be able to make changes to their cars.

Q2 will get underway at 1100 local time (2000 EST), with the race starting six hours later.

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NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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