Brabham sure he is ready for full-time drive in IndyCar

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Matthew Brabham feels ready to make the step up to a full-time drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series following successful tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa and Sonoma in recent weeks.

Brabham was one of a handful of rookie drivers to test at Sonoma on Thursday, sharing the running with regular driver Marco Andretti as part of the Mazda Road to Indy programme for young drivers.

Speaking after the test day, the 21-year-old expressed his enjoyment and belief that he is now ready to make the step up to a full-time drive in IndyCar.

“[I] had an awesome day,” Brabham said. “Driving an IndyCar around Sonoma was a lot more physically demanding than when I last drove at Iowa.

“You really had to muscle the car a lot more, but it was an incredible experience and so much more fun than anything else that I have driven.

“As a team we worked our way through the program which I was scheduled to do, so they were happy. And it was good to be able to ask Marco and Justin [Wilson] questions during the day, that was a big help.

“Speed-wise, it was difficult to really judge as the regular drivers were on different compound tires to the MRTI guys and there was no official timing.

“But it appears unofficially that Piquet and myself were the fastest rookie drivers, and we did almost identical times.

“I want to race one so bad now, and after today I am ready if given the opportunity.”

Brabham has spent 2015 sampling a number of different racing cars after finishing fourth in Indy Lights last year, but remains a firm part of the Andretti Autosport family.

The American-Australian has raced for the marque in Indy Lights and FIA Formula E this year, and will hope that this latest test has put his name in the mix for a possible full-time drive in 2016.

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.