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Buemi, Prost retained by Renault e.dams for third FE season

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BERLIN, Germany – Defending Formula E teams’ champion Renault e.dams has retained Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost for season three, due to start in October.

Buemi and Prost have raced for e.dams since the inaugural Formula E race in the fall of 2014, enjoying a good partnership that has yielded six victories as well as the first teams’ title.

While Buemi fights for the drivers’ championship in season two, e.dams remains at the head of the standing in the teams’ title race, prompting it to continue with the same line-up for season three.

“There are some decisions that are hard to make and others that are logical, and this is definitely the latter,” senior team manager Alain Prost said.

“Seb has shown his speed time and time again with two wins so far this year and is fighting for the championship for the second season in a row.

“Nico has demonstrated consistency and has achieved a string of strong results. We can build on this and look forward to a solid end to the year and an even more successful third season together.”

Buemi believes that having confirmation for season three will give his title hopes a boost as he looks to bridge the 11-point gap to Lucas di Grassi in the final three races of the season.

“Knowing I will be in the Renault e.dams car next year is a definite boost at this point in the year,” Buemi said.

“I’m totally focused on winning the title this season and knowing that I will be around to potentially defend it is very motivating.

“We’ve got a good thing going: the team has gelled well together, we have strong solid support from Renault and Nico and I are very complementary.

“Keeping this going as the championship grows is a real positive for the team.”

Prost added: “Renault e.dams is definitely amongst the top Formula E teams, no question. The technical commitment from Renault e.dams works extremely well and we have one of the quickest cars in the field, if not the quickest.

“I’m sure we will carry the momentum forward into the next season so I’m really pleased to be able to continue with the team for a third year.”

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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