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Brake, gearbox issues limit Gutierrez to four laps on Friday in China

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Esteban Gutierrez was left disappointed but not downbeat after issues on his Haas VF-16 car limited him to just four laps in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday.

Gutierrez failed to get out on track at all in the opening session at the Shanghai International Circuit due to a gearbox sensor issue.

The Mexican was sent out at the beginning of FP2 with a packed programme to complete, only to suffer a brake fire after just four laps, forcing him to abandon the rest of his running.

“It was a very difficult day,” Gutierrez said.

“It’s going to be very important to analyze all the data this evening in order to sort out the issues and prepare for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

“The team has been working hard and I’m positive that we’ll rectify the situation.

“I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner added: “Challenging day today, especially for Esteban. In the morning we had an issue with a gearbox sensor, which stopped him going out.

“Then in the afternoon, we had a problem with the brake-by-wire system resulting in the brakes seizing and subsequently catching fire. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get back out on track as we had to change everything in the backend.

“Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day us.”

Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 3am ET on Saturday.

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.