TUSC: February test dates set; Michelin now official tire supplier for GTLM class

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IMSA and officials at Sebring International Raceway have confirmed Open Test dates in February for both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Both series will have morning and afternoon test sessions on both Thurs., Feb. 20, 2014 and Fri., Feb. 21, 2014 to prepare for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring weekend on March 12-15, 2014. The weekend will include the CTSCC’s first-ever race at the famous Florida road course.

Sebring will also host testing for other IMSA-sanctioned series – including Cooper Tires Prototype Lites, Porsche GT3 Cup USA, Porsche GT3 Cup Canada, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo – on Feb. 24-25, 2014.

IMSA has also confirmed that Michelin is now an approved tire supplier for TUSC’s GT Le Mans class. The French tire maker will supply for six teams in the class: Corvette Racing, BMW Team RLL, Risi Competizione, SRT Motorsports, Aston Martin Racing, and Porsche North America.

“Michelin’s record in sports car racing, particularly in North America, speaks for itself,” IMSA president/COO Scott Atherton said in a statement. “We witnessed firsthand the many positive contributions Michelin provided the American Le Mans Series over many years and could not be more proud to welcome this truly world-class manufacturer into the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.”
As a supplier in the now-former ALMS, Michelin collected 139 overall wins and 392 class wins over 147 races.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)