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Leclerc, Celis Jr. enjoy track time in Mexico at Pirelli test

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Formula 1 juniors Charles Leclerc and Alfonso Celis Jr. continued their development by taking part in a two-day Pirelli tire test earlier this week at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, staying out in Mexico following last weekend’s grand prix.

Leclerc, 20, enjoyed more time with Sauber in the team’s C36 car after taking part in opening practice in Mexico, with the Ferrari’s youngster and Formula 2 champion’s program gearing him up for a race seat with the Swiss team next year.

Leclerc was joined on-track in Mexico by Force India development driver Celis, 21, with the drivers completing 115 and 114 laps respectively on Pirelli’s prototype tires for 2018.

Leclerc had the track to himself on Wednesday, where overnight rain allowed him to sample Pirelli’s intermediate tire before moving onto slicks later in the day, completing 104 laps in total.

Pirelli’s next 2018 tire test will take place at Interlagos following the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 14-15, with McLaren in action.

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.