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.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).