Van der Garde pushing through first two races

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Two finishes in the first two starts represent a decent beginning to Giedo van der Garde’s Formula 1 career. It could have been a lot worse given some of his exploits in the first two rounds with Caterham F1.

The Dutchman’s off course excursion in Friday practice in Melbourne cost him valuable track time. The disjointed qualifying session that started Saturday and ended Sunday also threw him for a loop.

“I think we’re very realistic about where we are at this point of the season, so anything more would have been a bonus, even in those conditions. We made the call to go to inters at the right time and if luck had gone our way a little more then maybe it would have been a different story, but it is what it is,” he explained in his official Formula 1 rookie diary.

Van der Garde and Caterham are primarily battling Marussia at the back of the grid. Neither team has scored points in their histories in the sport, but Marussia’s Jules Bianchi already has a 13th-place finish under his belt at Malaysia.

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.