NHRA: Courtney Force becomes winningest female in Funny Car with Sonoma win

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An all-Force final in Funny Car during the NHRA’s Sonoma Nationals saw Courtney Force emerge victorious over father John, and in the process, become the winningest female driver in Funny Car history.

The younger Force, 26, secured the 100th win for a female in NHRA in Topeka earlier this year and on Sunday in Sonoma, claimed her fifth career win. That broke a tie with older sister Ashley Force Hood.

“It’s cool to reach number five,” said Force, via NHRA.com. “I’m very proud of my team. Obviously, I wouldn’t be here without them and the hard work that they put in. I’m only as good as my team.”

John Force was seeking to win in his record 650th national start.

The weekend wasn’t just about winning for the Forces; both Courtney and Brittany (Top Fuel) had also topped their respective qualifying sessions.

Other class winners during the weekend included Khalid alBalooshi in Top Fuel, defeating Al-Anabi Racing teammate Shawn Langdon; Jason Line over V. Gaines in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec over Jason Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The series continues its annual west coast swing with a trip to Seattle next week.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.