Caterham impress in Hungary with solid finish

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Caterham will head into the summer break with a spring in their step following a strong performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Giedo van der Garde secured his best result of the season by finishing P14, just ahead of teammate Charles Pic as both drivers finished over one lap ahead of closest-rivals Marussia as the battle for P10 in the constructors’ championship intensifies.

“I’m really pleased with today’s race, for me that was the best race of the year and it’s great to put in a performance like that before we head off for the August break,” van der Garde said in a post-race statement.

“I think it shows that the plan we’d set for this season, about learning and improving race by race, is working as I was right on the pace we’d targeted until about six laps to go when the tires were pretty much gone.”

Charles Pic finished just 6.3 seconds behind his teammate, opting to run a two-stop strategy that saw him easily beat Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton in the Marussias.

“I had to make the tires last for the rest of the race, 32 laps in total, so I managed them as best I could and there wasn’t really anything more I could do today,” Pic said after the race.

Caterham still trail Marussia in the constructors’ championship by virtue of Jules Bianchi’s 13th place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix, but their recent form suggests that this deficit could be overturned when Formula One returns after the summer break.

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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