Getty Images

Palmer looks to recover in China from ‘shocker’ Australian weekend

Leave a comment

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer scored his first and thus far only career point of his Formula 1 career at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit last year, a track similar in nature and design to one of Hermann Tilke’s earlier creations, the Shanghai International Circuit.

He’ll be hoping he’s back on form this weekend at Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, after a nightmare start to his sophomore season in the 2017 Australian Grand Prix.

Palmer was frustrated and called his car “terrible” during the weekend, including after his pre-qualifying crash in second free practice. But the Englishman said heading into Shanghai he thinks the Renault Sport F1 Team has his chassis sorted and that he feels the team has more speed for this circuit.

“It’s a clean slate approach for me as Australia was a bit of a shocker,” Palmer said. “Fortunately the team were able to find the particular gremlin which affected me over the weekend so I’m heading to Shanghai as if it’s my first race of the season. Nico’s shown the race potential so let’s get out there and make points happen.”

After completing just 10 laps in Friday practice sessions at Melbourne, then qualifying on the back row and retiring, Palmer seeks a clean weekend when he has more time in the car.

“More time in the car is all that’s needed to lead to a much better weekend. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

“Albert Park was a really frustrating start to the season so I’m looking to get more laps on the board and more progress in the race.

“Obviously, there were many factors out of my hands in Australia, so the team’s checked over the car very carefully to ensure we don’t see a repeat of any of the same issues. From my side, I’ll be avoiding the walls very keenly too!”

Palmer was in the news over the weekend on a different note, for humorous reasons rather than angry ones.

He joined Jason Plato, David Coulthard and Rob Smedley in Silverstone’s April Fool’s gag that it planned to run races counter-clockwise at the Silverstone Circuit rather than clockwise.

We avoided April Fool’s content on its own, but this was a chance to see Palmer out of his serious element and having a laugh.

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.