TUSC: February test dates set; Michelin now official tire supplier for GTLM class

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IMSA and officials at Sebring International Raceway have confirmed Open Test dates in February for both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Both series will have morning and afternoon test sessions on both Thurs., Feb. 20, 2014 and Fri., Feb. 21, 2014 to prepare for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring weekend on March 12-15, 2014. The weekend will include the CTSCC’s first-ever race at the famous Florida road course.

Sebring will also host testing for other IMSA-sanctioned series – including Cooper Tires Prototype Lites, Porsche GT3 Cup USA, Porsche GT3 Cup Canada, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo – on Feb. 24-25, 2014.

IMSA has also confirmed that Michelin is now an approved tire supplier for TUSC’s GT Le Mans class. The French tire maker will supply for six teams in the class: Corvette Racing, BMW Team RLL, Risi Competizione, SRT Motorsports, Aston Martin Racing, and Porsche North America.

“Michelin’s record in sports car racing, particularly in North America, speaks for itself,” IMSA president/COO Scott Atherton said in a statement. “We witnessed firsthand the many positive contributions Michelin provided the American Le Mans Series over many years and could not be more proud to welcome this truly world-class manufacturer into the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.”
As a supplier in the now-former ALMS, Michelin collected 139 overall wins and 392 class wins over 147 races.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.