Di Grassi: Formula E title lost with “joke disqualification” in Berlin

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LONDON – Lucas di Grassi remained upbeat despite losing out in the race for the FIA Formula E championship on Sunday in London, saying that it had already been lost two races earlier in Berlin.

Di Grassi won the series’ first ever race in Beijing and led the standings for the majority of the season, only to be passed by Nelson Piquet Jr after he was disqualified from the Berlin ePrix on May 23.

After winning the race on track, di Grassi was excluded due to a technical irregularity with his car, losing 25 points for the victory and another two to Piquet.

In London on Sunday, Piquet was crowned the series’ champion by just one point from Sebastien Buemi, whilst di Grassi finished third in the final standings a further ten points back.

“[I’m] feeling good,” di Grassi told MotorSportsTalk after the race. “The job was done. I took six points from the championship leader this weekend, so my part of the bargain was done.

“I feel that the championship was lost in Berlin with the disqualification. Not today, not this weekend. Even with the weather, even being unlucky in qualifying, we managed to do a fourth and a sixth place, get 22 points home and it was the best we could do.

“It was just for me, in my opinion, it was a joke disqualification which I still don’t agree [with]. The championship was lost there, clearly.

“On my side, I did my job. I didn’t make any mistakes [in] the whole championship. All the points that we lost, they were due to durability of the parts or the disqualification in Berlin. So I think the championship that I did was pretty good, pretty solid.”

Di Grassi is refusing to dwell on the matter, though, and is instead looking ahead to the second Formula E season that kicks off this fall.

“I’m looking forward to next season already,” di Grassi said. “I think we start working on our new car already tomorrow.

“We’re doing the first test of the car next week to make sure that we have good equipment and we’ll be able to fight for the championship again, that’s the goal.”

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.