Ricciardo upbeat after strong practice showing in Belgium

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Daniel Ricciardo remained upbeat following a strong showing in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Ricciardo finished third in both FP1 and FP2 on Friday as Red Bull showed signs of continuing its impressive display at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month when it secured a double podium finish.

The Australian driver believes that the team will face a stiffer challenge as the weekend wears on, but was satisfied with his display on Friday.

“Generally I think if we can stay third and fourth at this track it would be good,” Ricciardo said.

“It will probably be closer tomorrow as the gap from behind will close up a lot more, but let’s wait and see. Hopefully we can maintain these positions for tomorrow.

“It would be good to find some more time on the option tire, so we’ll do our homework tonight, like every team will.”

Ricciardo’s thoughts were echoed by Red Bull teammate Daniil Kvyat, who underpinned the Australian’s pace by finishing sixth in FP1 and fourth in FP2.

“The conditions were pretty unusual for Spa today, with the hot weather and we had two good sessions,” Kvyat said.

“As a priority, we need to find some time in sector two. As always, we will do our homework tonight and try to improve the package we have for tomorrow, but the car felt good so far.”

Red Bull won last year’s race in Belgium through Daniel Ricciardo after seeing Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collide on the second lap of the race.

Should lightening strike twice at Spa, the Australian could be in the running to secure a repeat result judging by his practice pace.

The team will be hoping to carry its Friday form into qualifying on Saturday, which you can watch live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.

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.