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IMSA: Jordan Taylor ready to race days after emergency appendectomy

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Taylor practiced Friday morning on the streets of Long Beach, and the IMSA DPI points leader seems ready for Saturday’s 100-minute sprint race after undergoing an emergency appendectomy while on vacation in Hawaii.

Team owner Wayne Taylor, who is also the driver’s father, told NBCSports.com and the Associated Press after the opening session that his son was “fine” after getting behind the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac Dpi-V.R that he shares with Renger van der Zande.

“He’s been off painkillers since Tuesday morning,” Wayne Taylor said of his son. “He’s only on Tylenol. It’s amazing.”

Wayne Taylor said his son woke up in pain on the last day of a three-day trip to Hawaii. Jordan Taylor was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he underwent the surgery late Monday night and stayed for a couple of days. Jordan and Wayne Taylor flew to California late Thursday night, and Jordan Taylor was at the track by 5 a.m. Friday for practice.

According to IMSA rules, Taylor would have been eligible to earn points by spending at least five minutes behind the wheel in Saturday’s race, but Wayne Taylor said he’s expecting his son to handle a full load in splitting stints with van der Zende.

“He’s not going to get out of the car,” Wayne Taylor said.

Kamui Kobayashi was summoned from Monaco to be on standby.

“We asked Kobayashi to come out just in case,” Taylor said. “We checked with IMSA, and (Jordan) was cleared. He had to be here at 5 a.m. to make sure he could get in the car.”

The Wayne Taylor Racing team of Taylor, van der Zande, Kobayashi and Fernando Alonso combined to win the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Taylor, van der Zande and Matthieu Vaxiviere finished second last month at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The No. 10 has three consecutive top-two finishes dating to last season (including a victory in the 2018 finale at Petit Le Mans).

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).