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Snow impacts third day of F1 testing in Barcelona

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MONTMELO, Spain  — The third day of Formula One testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona in Spain proved to be a washout as snow and rain kept most teams from venturing out on track.

Parts of the track near Barcelona were covered in snow when teams arrived, forcing cars to stay in the garage indefinitely. Only McLaren F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso turned any timed laps – his quickest being a 2:18.545 – but with conditions proving too difficult, most of the teams elected to not send their drivers out.

Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson of the Sauber team said on Twitter, “Thanks for making me feel at home, Barcelona.”

Cold weather also affected the first two days of testing, keeping teams from learning much about the new 2018 cars as the track remained without enough grip for proper runs.

There were talks about adding extra days of testing in Barcelona, but the decision would need to be unanimous among the teams.

Thursday is the last of the first four-day test session. The final four-day session in Barcelona starts Tuesday.

The season opens with the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 25.

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.