McLaren: ECU not to blame for Webber’s poor start

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McLaren have hit back at Christian Horner’s claim their Electronic Control Unit was to blame for Mark Webber’s poor start in the Australian Grand Prix.

Webber dropped five places as he struggled to get off the line in yesterday’s race.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blamed a fault on the Electronic Control Unit for the problem. The ECU is a standard part used by all the teams and manufactured by McLaren Electronic Systems.

“Mark’s problems were hugely frustrating because it was an ECU issue, said Horner after the race. “You need to ask McLaren why the ECU didn’t work and why it messed up his preparation because he was blind and had no telemetry.”

“It is something they need to get on top of because it caused a lot of issues during testing.”

However MES managing director Peter van Manen denied the fault originated with the ECU:

“There was an issue with Mark Webber’s data system in the garage during the formation lap. The ECU on the car was fine,” he said.

“We regret any disruption caused to Mark’s preparations for the start of the race and will continue to work with the team to prevent any recurrence.”

Webber’s slow getaway dropped him from second to seventh immediately, and he was only able to recover to sixth by the end of the race. Watch his start from onboard the car in this video:

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.