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Alonso leads as young drivers run, rain hits Silverstone test

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In no real surprise as only three race drivers tested today at Silverstone, McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets in the first of the two-day in-season test.

Alonso’s best time of 1:31.290 was set in the morning session before rains fell in the afternoon. The only other race drivers that ran were Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Manor’s Rio Haryanto, who only clocked best times of 1:34.643 and 1:35.631, respectively.

Alonso was also one of the two busiest drivers on the day, completing 105 laps. That was second only to Mercedes junior driver and Renault reserve driver Esteban Ocon, who in his first day in the Mercedes W07 chassis banked 123 laps. Ocon’s best time was a 1:32.833.

Ocon was tops among the young drivers who tested, with the others Alex Lynn (Williams), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), F1 test debutantes Nikita Mazepin (Force India) and Santino Ferrucci (Haas), Sergey Sirotkin (Renault) and Pierre Gasly (Red Bull). Gasly did not clock a representative time as he ran primarily in wet conditions.

Pascal Wehrlein also ran a 2014-spec Mercedes to continue testing of Pirelli’s new 2017 tires.

Some tweets of note and times are below:

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.