Felix Baumgartner’s next challenge? The Nurburgring

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The man that jumped from the edge of space will soon face the Green Hell.

Felix Baumgartner, whose 24-mile space dive as part of the 2012 Red Bull Stratos project made him a worldwide celebrity, was scheduled to take part in the 2013 Race of Champions in Bangkok before the event was ultimately cancelled due to political unrest.

But the Austrian will soon have another challenge ahead of him: The Nurburgring 24 Hours.

Baumgartner will be taking part as a “gentleman driver,” but he’ll have some steady veterans to help him. His team’s co-drivers, Frank Biela, Marco Werner and Pierre Kaffer, have nine 24 Hours of Le Mans victories between them.

Additionally, Baumgartner’s hoping that his past experience in rallying can work in his favor as well as he navigates the treacherous course.

“I think that experience will count for a lot at the Nürburgring, because I think the Nordschleife is a little bit like rally driving,” he says in a story on Red Bull’s official site. “It’s not like a normal race track: it goes up and down, there’s a lot of hills, a lot of corners and conditions that can change swiftly. So, if you come from a rally background, it really helps.”

Baumgartner’s enlisted a former World Rally Championship competitor, Sepp Haider, to serve as his mentor for this adventure. He says the relationship between him and Haider is “pretty much the same” as the one he had with Joe Kittinger, the retired U.S. Air Force colonel who guided him on “Stratos.”

He knows that not many people are giving him much of a chance to do well at the Nurburgring next month. But then again, there probably weren’t that many who though he could break the speed of sound in his dive from space – and we know how that turned out.

“People criticise my decision. They say that with no race experience you cannot compete at the Nürburgring 24 Hours,” he said. “But the Audi Driving Experience and myself have come up with the perfect game plan – and we have the opportunity to prove to everyone our plan works.”

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)