Toyota Racing Development confirms David Wilson as new president/GM

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Toyota Racing Development has a new official head of operations. It’s still David Wilson, as it has been since June, just now without the “acting” tag ahead of the president and general manager title. The move was confirmed on Thursday.

Wilson will oversee all TRD activities in North America, including engine development and manufacturing and chassis design/development, as well as team and sanctioning body relationships for Toyota teams participating in NASCAR, USAC, the NHRA, the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and off-road competition.

“We have an outstanding group of TRD associates in Costa Mesa (Calif.) and Salisbury (N.C.), and the entire organization is looking forward to the start of the 2014 racing season,” Wilson said in a release.

He later tweeted, “Humbled by this tremendous opportunity; grateful for all of the kind words and well wishes.”

TRD was in the news more often than it probably wanted throughout 2013 with a series of engine failures that struck Joe Gibbs Racing, its flagship team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. That aside, they still won the most races of any manufacturer across NASCAR’s three national series, with 41 triumphs in 2013.

Since entering Sprint Cup in 2007, Toyota is yet to claim a Sprint Cup driver’s championship. They came awfully close with Matt Kenseth’s performance this past season, and no doubt seek it this year.

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)