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Latifi set for Renault F1 practice run-out later in the year

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Renault Sport racing director Frederic Vasseur has confirmed that Nicholas Latifi will be with the team for next weekend’s Formula 1 race in Canada ahead of a practice run-out later in the season.

Latifi, 20, joined Renault at the beginning of the season in a development role that would run alongside his commitments in GP2 with DAMS.

The Canadian racer had been tipped to take part in practice in Montreal next Friday, but will instead use the weekend to get used to working with the team ahead of his first F1 practice session later in the year.

“We will have our test driver Nicholas Latifi joining the team to get an insight into how an F1 team works over the course of a race weekend,” Vasseur said.

“Nicholas had a strong start to his GP2 Series season with his Barcelona podium even if his weekend in Monaco was more challenging.

“He will drive in FP1 later in the year so his weekend in Canada is vital preparation.”

Latifi finished second in the first GP2 race of the season last month in Barcelona, but retired from both legs of the Monaco weekend last time out.

When he eventually makes his practice bow, Latifi will become the first Canadian to take part in an F1 weekend session since Robert Wickens enjoyed a one-off appearance with Marussia in FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2011.

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.