Alonso on fast track

Ferrari F-1 driver Fernando Alonso drives his car during a test session at the Mugello race track...

Ferrari F-1 driver Fernando Alonso drives his car during a test session at the Mugello race track in Italy, May 1, 2012. (ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/Reuters)

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:53 PM ET

TORONTO - Good news for all of the Tifosi out there with Fernando Alonso putting Ferrari on top of the speed charts at the Mugello Circuit Tuesday.

Alonso’s fast lap of one minute 22.444 second was by far the quickest on a day when testing was disrupted by rain on the 5.2-km road course near Florence, in northern Italy.

“It’s a shame about the rain, which complicated the running of this first day of testing and a shame for the spectators who deserved to see more of a show,” Alonso said. “We had a pretty busy work program, but we only managed to get through a part of it.

“I can only say that, for me, it was a pleasure to be driving at this track again. The first and only other time was back in 2001, when I was testing for Minardi. It’s a spectacular track and it would be nice to be able to race on it.”

It is expected that weather conditions will improve for the second day of tests on Wednesday.

Mark Webber was second fastest Tuesday in the Red Bull Renault, posting a fast lap of 1:23.648, followed by Jean-Eric Vergne for Red Bull Toro Rosso at 1:23:891 and Jerome d’Ambrosio in a Lotus Renault at 1:24.048.

MAYFIELD READY TO SPRINT

It looks like the Jeremy Mayfield’s lengthy battle with NASCAR bosses to get reinstated in the Sprint Cup Series is finally over.

Mayfield, who was suspended after testing positive for methamphetamines in 2009, had appealed NASCAR’s ruling in federal court, after it has been rejected in North Carolina state court.

But he said this week he likely will not pursue any additional appeals in the lawsuit against NASCAR.

“We’re probably going to move on,” Mayfield said.

The former NASCAR driver, who had five career Cup wins and made the Chase for the Championship in 2004 and 2005, also faces 15 other felony counts in North Carolina, primarily on stolen goods-related charges and one methamphetamine charge.

CALLS COST WINS

It is always bad when officiating in any sport, whether it be a referee’s call in hockey or an umpire’s call in baseball, decides a game.

The same goes in motorsports and that was the case this past weekend in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at the Capital City/Virginia is for Lovers 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

First, there was Carl Edwards being told by his spotter that NASCAR officials had said the No. 99 Ford was in the lead as the field was about to re-start after a caution with 81 laps to go.

When Edwards took off, he was immediately black-flagged and penalized with a drive through pit lane.

It was a penalty that took away a possible win for Edwards.

And then with only 10 laps to go, NASCAR officials called a caution when it was ruled that there was a plastic water bottle on the track.

That stoppage in the action cost Tony Stewart a sure-fire win in the No. 14 Chevrolet.

Stewart argued that the water bottle in question was not on the racing surface but off to the sides and had been there for eight laps prior to being deemed debris.

The two calls changed the outcome of the race and called into question the credibility of NASCAR officials.


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