Americans Rossi, Daly star in opening day of GP2 test at Bahrain

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Americans Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly starred on the opening day of the second preseason GP2 test in Bahrain.

Rossi’s flier of 1:40.604 for EQ8 Caterham Racing in the afternoon session was fastest of the day, just edging Daniel Abt at 1:40.616 for Hilmer Motorsport.

Russian Time’s Mitch Evans clocked in third at 1:40.680 with Daly, back in his second test for the Venezuela GP Lazarus team, fourth at 1:40.734. It marks his first time to the Bahrain International Circuit.

Jolyon Palmer, son of former Grand Prix driver Jonathan and another second-generation talent like Daly, rounded out the afternoon top five at 1:40.769.

Three seats are still left to be filled for the full-season championship. Second seats at MP Motorsport, Trident and Lazarus have yet to be determined.

Daly is in the Lazarus seat this test, with Italian Vittorio Ghirelli in the second Trident seat and Jon Lancaster in the second MP seat. Lancaster starred at the Abu Dhabi test last week.

TIMES: Day 1 in Bahrain

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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