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Tost: Tight for Toro Rosso to be ready for first 2016 test

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Scuderia Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost has admitted that the team faces a race against time to be ready for the first Formula 1 pre-season test in 2016.

Toro Rosso and parent team Red Bull both faced uncertainty for 2016 due to issues with existing engine partner Renault over the quality of its power unit.

Red Bull ultimately opted to remain with Renault power units for 2016, albeit rebadged as TAG Heuer, but Toro Rosso will switch to a 2015-spec Ferrari model.

The deal was formally announced on Friday, allowing the team to confirm its place on the grid in 2016 and the retention of drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr.

However, team principal Tost admitted that the late signing of the deal with Ferrari has placed great pressure on all at Faenza to get the STR11 car ready for the first test in Barcelona on February 22.

“It’s great to be working with Ferrari again,” Tost said. “We had a fruitful relationship in the past and I’m sure it won’t take long for us all to be working together very well again.

“It’s true that time will be very tight for us to be ready for the first test, but we have the right team of people for this and I’m confident that together we will achieve a competitive package for next year – bring on 2016!”

Red Bull was also offered the 2015-spec Ferrari power unit, but rejected the deal after also seeing talks with Mercedes and Honda break down.

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.