Torrential rain washes out FP2 at Austin

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AUSTIN, Texas – It’s never a good story when you, as a reporter, have completed as many laps in a session as the entire field of 20 drivers and cars competing in the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

Yet that’s the situation I, and anyone else in the media centre here, finds themselves in following torrential rain that has washed out second free practice today.

The session was canceled just before 3 p.m. CT and local time.

At 1:45 p.m. local time, the FIA indicated the “Risk of rain for this session is 100%.”

Just six minutes later, at 1:51 p.m., this graphic flashed: “Start of P2 will be delayed indefinately. Marshals unable to work due to the proximity of lightning.”

The rain wasn’t too bad just before the start of the session but within five minutes, it turned to absolute buckets of rain coming down on the circuit.

At 2:56 p.m. CT and local time, this graphic confirmed the session was canceled:

“P2 is cancelled. No medical helicopter operations for the next 2 hours.”

Ever competitive though, teams kept posting on Twitter. Here’s some of the highlights from the non-session:

Heck, we even entered the party for a bit.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.