F1 teams starting to stir on Aussie GP race day (PHOTOS)

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The Formula One paddock at Melbourne is starting to come to life ahead of this evening’s Australian Grand Prix, which you can watch LIVE on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra tonight at 1:30 a.m. ET.

Some of the teams have arrived at the circuit to begin making final preparations for tonight’s F1 season opener, including Mercedes, which will have both polesitter Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg within the first two rows at Lights Out.

McLaren has also made their way to Albert Park. Their young rookie, Kevin Magnussen, was impressive in qualifying yesterday and he’ll look to carry that over into his first Grand Prix.

Also on the scene now is Williams, which has been solid throughout the winter testing but will have work to do this afternoon. Veteran Felipe Massa rolls off ninth, while Valtteri Bottas has to start 15th after his team opted to replace the gearbox on his car – incurring a five-spot grid penalty in the process.

Rest assured, it won’t be quiet for too much longer…

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.