Force India rallies to double points score in Abu Dhabi

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ABU DHABI – Force India ended the 2014 Formula 1 season on a high in Abu Dhabi today as both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finished in the points.

After a strong start to the year, Force India had been ahead of McLaren in the race for fifth in the constructors’ championship, only to struggle in the second half of the season and fall behind the British team.

Although it could not re-overtake McLaren in Abu Dhabi despite double points being on offer, it did pick up its biggest points haul of the season, scoring 28 points as Hulkenberg finished sixth and Sergio Perez came home just behind in seventh.

“Today we saw a captivating race that demonstrated how far we have come this season,” team owner Vijay Mallya said. “Even though tonight’s result was not enough to claim back fifth in the championship, we can look back to our season with pride. We scored the highest points tally in the history of the team, 155 points, and we finished with both cars in the points on ten occasions.

“I want to congratulate everyone in the team, both here at the track and back in Silverstone, for their effort this season, and encourage them to take this year as a spur for even greater things to come in 2015.”

Hulkenberg was pleased with his finish to the 2014 season, and believes that Force India is in a good position heading into the 2015 season.

“I’m very happy with this result,” Hulkenberg said. “After struggling with the car on Friday and in qualifying, I think we can be proud of today’s race and our performance is a good sign for next year as well. The car performed at its best, I had a good balance and I had the confidence to really push.”

Sergio Perez was confirmed to be staying at Force India for 2015 last night, and believes that the team should be proud of its achievements this year.

“Looking back at the season overall I think everyone in the team has done a tremendous job and we should feel very happy about what we have achieved,” Perez said. “I’ve enjoyed this season and now that I know the team I’m looking forward to coming back stronger in 2015.”

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.