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Rosberg leads Hamilton in opening Bahrain GP practice

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Nico Rosberg picked up where he left off in Australia two weeks ago to set the pace in opening practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday.

Rosberg kicked off the 2016 Formula 1 season with victory in Melbourne, and arrives in Bahrain chasing a fifth consecutive grand prix win.

The German driver began his weekend in impressive fashion by finishing half a second clear of the field at the Bahrain International Circuit, leading Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in second place.

Mercedes was the only team to complete fast laps in FP1, with most opting to wait until the night-time second practice session when conditions will be more representative of qualifying and the race.

Rosberg’s late run saw him post a lap time of 1:32.294, with Hamilton going half a second slower soon after his teammate.

Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in third place for Ferrari, 1.8 seconds down on Rosberg’s time, while Daniel Ricciardo edge out Red Bull teammate Daniil Kvyat to take fourth at the checkered flag.

Nico Hulkenberg ended FP1 in sixth place ahead of the Toro Rosso pair of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen, while Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Williams’ Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10.

McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne’s maiden F1 practice session saw him finish 18th as he got plenty of laps under his belt ahead of his grand prix debut on Sunday.

FP1 also saw Force India reserve Alfonso Celis Jr. enjoy his first run-out on a grand prix weekend. The Mexican driver deputized for Sergio Perez, ending the session in P21.

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.