Sainz Jr. upbeat despite crashing on final day of testing

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Carlos Sainz Jr. chose to look at the positives from his final day of running in the second F1 pre-season test after ending his day early due to a crash.

The F1 rookie spun off at turn three and finished in the barriers, costing Toro Rosso the final two hours of running in Barcelona. Nevertheless, he still managed to complete 88 laps on his second allocated day in Barcelona.

Speaking at the end of the day, Sainz was happy to take the blame for the crash, explaining that it was down to driver error instead of anything technically wrong with the car.

“It was a really good day until I crashed,” Sainz said. “Everything went really smoothly and I felt we had made a big step forward with the car from day two to day four.

“Unfortunately, in the afternoon, I made a mistake at turn three, which is not the best place to do that, because the barriers are close at that point. I’d rather crash in the test than in race one, so I have learned something from it and now we turn the page, move on and think about next week’s test here.

“There are many positives to take from this test. I was a different driver in the car and I felt much more confident here in Barcelona.”

In spite of the crash, it has been a very productive test for Toro Rosso in Barcelona. The team completed over 350km more mileage here than it did in Jerez, giving its all-rookie line-up precious experience ahead of the first race of the year in Australia.

Sainz will return to action in Barcelona next week alongside teammate Max Verstappen, with testing resuming on Thursday.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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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.