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Pirelli to test 2016 F1 compounds, new ultra-soft tire in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed that its 2016 tires and the new ultra-soft compound will make their on-track debut on December 1 at the Yas Marina Circuit following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In previous years, Pirelli has traditionally made use of the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi to trial its Formula 1 tire compound designs for the forthcoming year with the teams.

After striking an agreement with the FIA World Council, Pirelli has confirmed that a one-day test will take place in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of next month in a bid to aid the development of the new tire construction for 2016.

Running will focus on slick tire development over a 12-hour period. All ten teams have been requested to field one car using a race or reserve driver, but participation is voluntary. Pirelli will dictate the test programme for each team.

Pirelli also confirmed that this test will see the on-track debut of its new compound, the ultra-soft, which is due to become the fifth choice for 2016 as part of a shake-up of tire rules.

With five compounds on offer – ultra-soft, super-soft, soft, medium, hard – Pirelli will allocate three for each grand prix weekend. Teams will then pick two compounds to use over the weekend, giving them more responsibility for tire calls and creating more variety in race strategy.

The ultra-soft tire will feature purple markings after winning an online survey conducted by Pirelli, gaining 70% of votes.

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.