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Vergne gives thumbs up to Pirelli’s 2017 tire developments

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BERLIN, Germany – Jean-Eric Vergne was impressed by Pirelli’s tire developments for the 2017 Formula 1 season after completing a test at Fiorano with Ferrari earlier this month.

Pirelli has been given new guidelines to meet with its compounds for next season, and received the green light to complete 25 days of testing to ensure that the demands are satisfied.

Vergne completed a test with a 2014-spec Ferrari car at Fiorano at the beginning of the month, but said that the pictures circulating on social media of him testing that showed the tires to be far wider than those currently used were fake.

“It was only the compound so the images you see were photoshopped,” Vergne confirmed to NBC Sports in Berlin, before sharing his thoughts on the first run with the prototype tires.

“We’re going to have more tests going on with Pirelli and Ferrari,” Vergne said.

“Definitely some good things. Pirelli are working well to give good tires.

“I’m confident things will be great for next season tire-wise.”

Vergne moved into the role of reserve driver at Ferrari for 2016 after Esteban Gutierrez’s move to Haas, and also races in Formula E with DS Virgin Racing.

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.