© Getty Images

Palmer point a boost for his F1 future prospects

1 Comment

SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) Jolyon Palmer made a strong case to be retained by the Renault team in 2017 as he scored his first ever Formula One points by finishing tenth in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

The British driver was the only one to start the race on the hardest-compound tire and made the most of a one-pitstop strategy to take the last points place.

“It feels good, I’m really happy,” Palmer said. “The race was really smooth; I wish it was always so straightforward.

“The car gave me everything I needed, we handled the tires well and the team did a great job with strategy and pit stops. Finally everything came together and we got it home to P10.”

Palmer’s future at Renault is in doubt, with the team chasing an experienced driver in 2017 as it seeks to make a leap forward under the sport’s new design regulations.

While the team had reportedly chased Force India’s Sergio Perez, the Mexican was expected to announce in the coming week that he was staying put.

That increased the likelihood that Renault will retain at least one of its current driver pairing: Palmer and Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen finished in the points in the previous race in Singapore and was considered the more likely of the pair to be retained, but Renault team principal Fred Vasseur was impressed by Palmer’s performance on Sunday.

“After a disappointing qualifying yesterday he got his head down and delivered a very good race,” Vasseur said. “We ran to an aggressive strategy and Jo did everything required to make this work so a great effort from him and the team today.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.