TUSC: TRG to field two Aston Martin cars in GTD class

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For the first time in more than three decades, Aston Martin will have an U.S.-based team to compete in North American sports car racing.

The famous British marque has announced that after recent tests at Sebring and Daytona, it will field two full-time entries in the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Kevin Buckler’s “The Racer’s Group” will run the cars as part of a collaboration called TRG-AMR North America.

“I feel like this has been 20 years in the making for all of us,” Buckler said. “…To have the opportunity to officially represent one of the most iconic and revered, street and racing marques in the world, is a perfect fit for where our organization has now evolved.

“We will be proud to represent and to race the Aston Martin Racing cars here in North America, not only for ourselves, but for any and all interested teams or partners.”

TRG-AMR will race a pair of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 machines, which have competed in various endurance/GT series around the world. Aston Martin also competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

A driver lineup has yet to be announced, but TRG-AMR notes that they’ve “used the recent Balance of Performance tests as well as numerous additional test days to undergo extensive driver evaluations.”

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski