Romain Grosjean keen to return to Le Mans one day

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Romain Grosjean has expressed his desire to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the future, having taken part in the prestigious endurance event back in 2010.

Grosjean raced with Matech Competition five years ago at the Circuit de la Sarthe, qualifying third in the GT1 class in a Ford GT.

Although the Frenchman was ultimately forced to retire from the race alongside Thomas Mutsch and Jonathan Hirschi, he enjoyed the experience and said this week that he would like to one day return in the future.

“It’s a race I’ve visited many times although I’ve only competed there once in 2010,” Grosjean said. “It was in a Ford GT and we qualified third in class but had to retire after 171 laps.

“Certainly, I’d like to have a go again at some point in the future. It’s a great event and holds a lot of interest across France as well as in the rest of the world. I’ll be spending the weekend with my family but I’ll certainly be watching from afar.”

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg has become the first driver since Sebastien Bourdais back in 2009 to race in both Formula 1 and Le Mans this year, running in the third Porsche that qualified P3 for the race last night.

Although a number of other drivers are known to be interested balancing Le Mans with a full-time F1 driver, most contracts will restrict them to activities outside of F1, meaning few can hope to be racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe until after their single-seater careers are over.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Grosjean is excited to have a chance to really attack the Red Bull Ring with a quick car after struggling at last year’s event with the troublesome Lotus E22 car.

“We have a lot more potential to do well this year,” Grosjean said. “Last year was the first time at the track for Formula 1 in over a decade and we were doing a lot of learning of the circuit and set-up as well as struggling with a lot of issues with our car at the time.

“We couldn’t get on top of the tires and we didn’t have the right package for our brakes so it was a frustrating weekend, not to mention with some reliability issues too! This year we should be so much better placed and I’m really looking forward to being able to attack the track.”

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.