© Getty Images

Gastaldi: Renault employees already working at Lotus

Leave a comment

Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has confirmed that Renault employees have been working at Enstone for over six weeks ahead of the French manufacturer’s takeover.

Renault signed a letter of intent ahead of a buy-out back in September following months of negotiations, and although a deal is still yet to be announced, the foundations for its return as a works team in 2016 are already being laid.

In Friday’s press conference ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Gastaldi said that the final decision will come from Renault, but that its presence is already being felt at Lotus.

“Well, that’s pretty much a call that has to be done from Renault,” Gastaldi said when asked about a final announcement.

“All the bits and pieces are there, yes. We do have people since Singapore working there already so when it will be announced is their call.”

Gastaldi gave further indication that the deal was all but done when asked what engine his team would be racing with in 2016, giving “Renault” as his firm reply.

However, as confirmed earlier this week by team CEO Matthew Carter, the deal is still yet to be struck, prompting Lotus to proceed with separate design plans for Mercedes-powered and Renault-powered cars.

Regardless of its engine supplier, Lotus will retain Pastor Maldonado for 2016 alongside Jolyon Palmer, who takes the seat vacated by Romain Grosjean after his decision to move to Haas.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.