Le Mans: Seven cars handed penalties after qualifying

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Seven cars have been hit with penalties following the conclusion of qualifying for the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans on Friday after failing to record a quick enough lap time.

The regulations at Le Mans state that all drivers must post a time within 110% of that set by the class pole-sitter, or the entry will be relegated to the back of the grid regardless of the efforts by the other drivers in the car.

Four cars in LMP1 and one car from LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am apiece were hit with penalties after qualifying as a result, shaking up the order throughout the grid.

Nissan managed to rally towards the end of qualifying to get all three of its GT-R LM Nismo cars into the top 15, but failed to get within the required lap time of 3:36.575 that was 110% of Neel Jani’s pole position lap for Porsche of 3:16.887.

As a result, the trio of Nissans have been relegated to the back of the LMP2 grid, leaving them P30, P31 and P32 for the start of tomorrow’s race. They will start behind the Team ByKolles car, which also fell foul of the 110% rule in LMP1.

The only car in LMP2 to be hit with a penalty was the no. 45 Ibanez Racing car after Pierre Perrett failed to post a lap time within 110% of the class pole, dropping the all-French effort from P32 to P33 on the grid.

In GTE Pro, the no. 71 AF Corse car of James Calado, Davide Rigon and Olivier Baretta was sent to the back of the grid after Baretta failed to record a lap within 120% of the LMP1 pole time. As a result, it will start 54th on the grid ahead only of the no. 68 Team AAI car, which was hit with a penalty for missing the 110% time.

To see the full grid for the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, click here. The 83rd edition of the world’s most famous endurance race kicks off at 10am ET on Saturday.

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.