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Marchionne: Extreme conditions key to innovation in motorsport

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TURIN, Italy – Ferrari and Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne believes there should be more freedom for experimentation in motorsport in order to encourage innovation in the automotive industry.

A constant battle being faced by many championships including Formula 1 is that of balancing innovation and road-relevance with cost control.

Speaking in his opening statement ahead of the FIA Sport Conference in Turin on Tuesday, Marchionne stressed the importance of freedom in regulations to encourage innovation.

“The success and strength of Ferrari has always been closely linked to the world of Formula 1 and racing has always been the laboratory where the leading edge, innovative technologies for its street cars are developed,” Marchionne said.

“The character and potential of Ferrari is constantly tested on the track. In any event, I firmly believe that there should be more freedom for experimentation.”

Marchionne believes that the more radical technical regulations set to be introduced to F1 for 2017 are a step in the right direction to encouraging innovation.

“Jean Todt and the other members of the Formula One Commission have been trying to find a balance between ensuring access to the sport by limiting the costs of participation, and the need to innovate,” Marchionne said.

“I think that with the introduction of the 2017 regulations we have found an acceptable point of equilibrium, but we must be mindful that pushing cars to the limit and testing them under the most extreme conditions is the only way to guarantee the maximum yield in innovation.”

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.