Alonso uncertain about race pace despite good qualifying

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Fernando Alonso may have qualified a strong P3 in Malaysia, but the Ferrari driver has admitted that he is unsure about how he will do in the race tomorrow.

“We will try to do a good race and try and score as many points as possible,” said Alonso.

“We are not sure about the performance of the car’s race pace. Every run we do is inconsistent. We need to see how the race goes.”

He did however draw confidence from the performance in Australia, where he finished 2nd after starting down in P5.

“In Melbourne, the race pace was okay so there is no reason not to be optimistic tomorrow. We have not had big problems during the long runs on Friday [in Malaysia].”

Alonso was edged out by Sebastian Vettel and teammate Felipe Massa in qualifying. Despite Alonso being the ‘number one’ driver at Ferrari, this was the fourth race in a row where Massa qualified ahead of his double-champion teammate.

Ferrari will be pleased with their qualifying performance, and having beaten Vettel on the track on Sunday in Australia, they will be confident that Alonso could be vying for the win in Malaysia. If Felipe Massa can also get ahead of Vettel, the team could be forced to make a decision between letting their drivers race freely and risk an accident, or establishing the status quo with Alonso predictably ahead of Massa.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.