Ferrari sign Lotus’ chief aerodynamicist de Beer

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Ferrari’s ransacking of Lotus has continued today with the signing of chief aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer from the Enstone-based outfit.

The team confirmed on Tuesday that it had signed Kimi Raikkonen for the 2014 season to partner Fernando Alonso in Maranello, following in the footsteps of the team’s former technical director James Allison.

Allison made the move to Ferrari last month, joining as the chassis technical director. In this role, he is thought to have targeted the likes of de Beer to help the team to challenge for both championships in 2014. Ferrari has suffered difficulties in recent years with its car design thanks to correlation problems between the wind tunnel and the track, although the team is confident of correcting this for next season.

de Beer is set to work alongside the team’s current head of aerodynamics, Loic Bigois. Heading in the opposite direction is Ferrari’s Nicolas Hennel, who will be de Beer’s direct replacement at Lotus.

The arrival of Allison, de Beer and (crucially) Raikkonen at Ferrari sends out the team’s signal of intent for 2014, making anything less than a championship challenge a disappointing year for the Italian marque.

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.