van der Garde: Japan crash the biggest of my career

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Giedo van der Garde has said that his crash at the beginning of last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix was one of the biggest of his career as his race came to an end at turn one following a tangle with Marussia’s Jules Bianchi.

van der Garde came together with Bianchi, causing both drivers to go straight on into the wall at the first corner with the Caterham being firmly embedded in the barrier. Thankfully, both drivers were able to walk away unscathed, but the Dutchman attributed this to the high standards of safety in modern day Formula One.

“When I hit the barrier the impact registered around 20g which is by quite a long way one of the biggest accidents I’ve had in my career,” van der Garde explained. “It just shows how far F1 safety has come that I was out of the car and back in the team’s hospitality unit within about 20 minutes.

“When I looked at the shots after the race I realised that it was, honestly, quite a lot of a bigger shunt than it had felt like in the car.”

Although it did register as his first DNF since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June, van der Garde was thankful to have escaped unharmed, and he is hoping to bounce back at next weekend’s Indian Grand Prix.

“It’s going to be hot and hotter track conditions have suited us all year so the aim is to maintain the gap to our nearest competitors throughout the weekend.”

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.