Ford confirms factory pullout from Australian V8 Supercars after 2015

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Ford, one of the two longest-running manufacturers in Australian V8 Supercars, will withdraw all its factory support at the end of 2015.

The decision was made by Ford Australia as part of the company’s wider drawdown of its Falcon line of cars. The new FG-X model will race into 2015 with Ford Performance Racing (Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert) and Team Penske DJR, the latter of which welcomes Marcos Ambrose into the fold for 2015.

Ford issued no public statement, but an internal email was obtained by Australian website Speedcafe.com, contents of which are also posted to News.com.au.

Prodrive Racing Australia (PRA), which runs and operates the FPR squad, did release a statement. PRA CEO Tim Edwards said the team could still run the Falcon FG-X into 2016 but was otherwise disappointed by the news.

“Ford Australia’s decision to not extend its commercial relationship with our team beyond the end of next season is extremely disappointing for our large and loyal fan base, but as a business this decision now allows us to concentrate on our long-term future,” he said.

The V8SC is in a period of transition as a series, with a new TV package coming into play next year and also featuring a date clash with the Bathurst 12-Hour next February 6-8. V8SC has its preseason test day scheduled at Eastern Creek the same time, February 7-8.

Ford’s drawdown is a signal of that transition, as well. New manufacturers such as Nissan, Volvo and Erebus Mercedes have entered the championship in recent years along with the Ford and Holden brands.

V8SC concludes its 2014 season with the Sydney 500 this 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.