© GP2 Series

Cecotto Jr. moves into Formula V8 3.5

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Former GP2 driver Johnny Cecotto Jr. has moved into the revamped Formula V8 3.5 championship for 2016 with RP Motorsport.

Cecotto raced in seven GP2 Series seasons and claimed four race wins before announcing his retirement from motorsport at the age of 26 last fall.

However, this only lasted three weeks as he returned to GP2 for the round in Sochi, Russia before once again dropping off the grid.

Earlier this week, RP Motorsport announced that Cecotto had joined for its debut season in the new 3.5 litre championship alongside Brazilian driver Vitor Baptista.

After Renault withdrew its backing from the championship at the end of 2015, RPM Racing took over its promotion and kept it alive for 2016.

Formula Renault 3.5 produced a number of big name drivers that graduated to Formula 1 including Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen.

With RP Motorsport now confirming its line-up, the grid for the season opener at Motorland Aragon in Spain next weekend is up to 13 cars.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.