TUSC: Westbrook, Bird, Gavin, Winkelhock top final day of Roar test

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Richard Westbrook took the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP to P1 overall and among the Prototype class in Sunday’s final run of testing in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Westbrook logged a lap of 1 minute, 39.748 seconds (128.484 mph) in the No. 90, which he’ll share with full-time teammate Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller for the Rolex on Jan. 25.

Altogether, it was a much better time at Daytona for SDR, which avoided disaster in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship tire test this past November at the track. During that session, Westbrook got airborne after suffering a tire failure at high speed but, thankfully, walked away from the incident.

“That was the worst possible start for our 2014 campaign,” Westbrook said in a statement. “Ironically, it’s helped turn everything around. Now, we’ve got a brand new car, the guys are on top of it, and I’ve got two great teammates.

“It’s still early, but we had a fantastic, trouble-free test and a nice car. Daytona is a fantastic place to drive when you have a nice car.”

Sam Bird continued to set the pace in the Prototype Challenge category. After topping the PC charts on Saturday, he did it again Sunday with a lap of 1 minute, 42.704 seconds (124.786 mph) in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsports ORECA FLM09.

In GT Le Mans, Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin was fastest on Sunday with a time of 1 minute, 45.915 seconds (121.003 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. However, in regard to the entire weekend, that wasn’t enough to supplant Nick Tandy of Porsche North America, whose lap of 1 minute, 45.564 seconds on Friday was the fastest GTLM lap throughout the Roar.

Marcus Winkelhock and the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS was today’s fastest in GT Daytona, posting a lap of 1 minute, 48.462 seconds (118.161 mph). Another of the No. 45’s co-drivers, Spencer Pumpelly, had logged what would be the best GTD time all weekend on Friday (1:47.981/118.688 mph).

SUNDAY TIMES

COMBINED TIMES

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)