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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”