FIA race director has high praise for Watkins Glen repaving

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Watkins Glen International’s repaving received high marks during an inspection Tuesday from FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting.

“I think the track looks marvelous,” Whiting said in a video tweeted by the track. “I’m really, really impressed with the work that’s been done. It’s been done to very, very high standards.”

Whiting’s comments do not mean that Formula One will return any time soon to the legendary road course in upstate New York.

Rather, FIA inspects numerous tracks around the world every three years – and the completion of WGI’s repaving just happened to fall ahead of Whiting’s visit.

“I think it’s one of the most charismatic circuits in the U.S.,” Whiting said of WGI. “There are newer ones, like the Circuit of the Americas, but it hasn’t got the character that this has got.

“I think it would be an absolutely wonderful setting for Formula One cars to race on. But we all know it’s not quite as simple as that. But as far as circuits in the U.S. goes, I think this is right up there.”

Indeed, while WGI has hosted 20 F1 races in its nearly 60-year history, the last time the international circuit raced upon the track was 36 years ago in 1980.

“It’s always a pleasure to come over here and see how things are done over here,” Whiting said. “What you see here is an absolute gem of a track. It’s got heritage, and that’s what I like.


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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.