GP2: Vandoorne victorious in eventful Spa feature race

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Stoffel Vandoorne extended his lead at the top of the GP2 Series championship by winning his home race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

After securing his fourth pole position of the season on Friday, Vandoorne was fortunate to retain the lead at the end of the first lap after bogging down off the line.

The Belgian was swamped by Sergey Sirotkin and Oliver Rowland on the run down to La Source, but contact between the two drivers allowed Vandoorne to retain his lead.

American driver Alexander Rossi made a lightning start to jump from P8 to P2 on the first lap, giving chase to Vandoorne in the early stages of the race.

However, proceedings were interrupted when Daniel de Jong slammed into the wall at Blanchimont following a clash with Pierre Gasly, leaving the Dutchman requiring medical assistance.

The safety car was soon deployed, allowing some of the drivers – including Vandoorne – to dive into the pit lane before the race was red flagged due to the incident.

De Jong was reported to be conscious and talking by GP2 officials, and has since been transferred to a local hospital to allow further assessments to take place.

When the race resumed, Rossi found himself leading, but was one of a number of drivers that still had to complete a mandatory pit stop, thus negating their advantage.

Once the pit cycle was completed, it was Vandoorne who once again rose to the head of the field. The Belgian eventually eased his car home by ten seconds from Arthur Pic.

“Yeah today was a very great day for us,” Vandoorne said after the race. “The whole weekend had started perfectly for us.

“We were quickest in free practice and then quickest in qualifying as well. To win my home race is something really special. I came very close last year finishing second and today it felt a bit like a revenge.”

Vandoorne and Pic were joined on the podium by Artem Markelov, who managed to charge through the field to clinch third place at the end. Julian Leal finished fourth for Carlin ahead of Mitch Evans and Rossi, who came to blows at the final corner when fighting over fifth place.

Fresh from his Formula E test earlier this week, Nathanael Berthon finished seventh, whilst Jordan King crossed the line in eighth place to give himself reverse grid pole for Sunday.

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.