TUSC: Confirmed driver announcements thus far

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Here’s a quick update on drivers who have been officially announced for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The full entry list was announced earlier this month. Drivers are next to the team, car, and 2013 class for the car:

P

  • Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Ford Ecoboost Riley, DP): 01-Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas (full season)
  • Extreme Speed Motorsports (HPD ARX-03b, P2): 1-Ryan Dalziel/Scott Sharp (full season)/David Brabham (endurance races); 2-Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek (full season)/Simon Pagenaud/Anthony Lazzaro (endurance races)
  • Action Express Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 5-Joao Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi (full season)/Sebastien Bourdais (endurance races)
  • Muscle Milk Pickett Racing (ORECA 03 Nissan, P2 in Europe): 6-Klaus Graf/Lucas Luhr (full season)
  • Wayne Taylor Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 10-Jordan Taylor/Ricky Taylor (full season)/Max Angelelli (endurance races)
  • Marsh Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 31-Eric Curran/Boris Said (full season)
  • Michael Shank Racing (Ford Ecoboost Riley, DP): 60-Ozz Negri/John Pew (full season)
  • Spirit of Daytona Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 90-Richard Westbrook/Michael Valiante (full season)
  • GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 99-Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty (all NAEC races)/Memo Gidley/Darren Law (endurance races)

PC (All ORECA FLM09)

  • CORE autosport: 05-Jon Bennett (full season)
  • RSR Racing: 08 or 09-Bruno Junqueira/Duncan Ende (full season)/David Heinemeier Hansson (endurance races)
  • JDC/Miller: 85-Chris Miller (2nd Alternate)

GTLM

  • Corvette Racing (Corvette C7.R, ALMS GT): 3-Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen (full season)/Ryan Briscoe (endurance races); 4-Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner (full season)/Robin Liddell (endurance races)
  • Team Falken Tire (Porsche 911 RSR, ALMS GT): 17-Bryan Sellers/Wolf Henzler (full season)
  • BMW Team RLL (BMW Z4 GTLM, ALMS GT): Driver pairings to be confirmed over 55 and 56: Bill Auberlen, Andy Priaulx, Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, John Edwards

GTD

  • GB Autosport (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 20-Bob Faieta (races to be confirmed)
  • Alex Job Racing (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 22-Cooper MacNeil/Leh Keen (full season)
  • AJR/Team Seattle (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 23-Ian James/Mario Farnbacher (full season)
  • NGT Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 30-Henrique Cisneros/Kuba Giermaziak (full season)
  • Riley Motorsports (SRT Viper GT3-R, New Car): 33-Jeroen Bleekemolen/Ben Keating (full season)/Sebastiaan Bleekemolen/Emmanuel Collard (endurance races)
  • Magnus Racing (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 44-John Potter/Andy Lally (full season)
  • Fall-Line Motorsports (Audi R8, Rolex GT): 46-Charles Espenlaub/Charlie Putman (full season)
  • Scuderia Corsa (Ferrari 458, Rolex GT): 63-Alessandro Balzan/Jeff Westphal (full season); 64-Dr. Rod Randall/Ken Wilden (full season)
  • Park Place Motorsports (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 71-Dr. Jim Norman (full season); 73-Kevin Estre/Patrick Lindsey (full season)
  • Turner Motorsport (BMW Z4 GT3, New Car): 94-Paul Dalla Lana (full season)
  • TRG-AMR (Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Rolex GT): 007 or 009-James Davison (full season); Al Carter/David Block (races to be confirmed)
  • Level 5 Motorsports (Ferrari 458, Rolex GT): 555 or 556-Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell (full season), Jeff Segal (full season, car to be confirmed)

Kyle Busch interests McLaren for Indy 500, but team is leaning toward experience

McLaren Indy Kyle Busch
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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With Arrow McLaren SP heavily weighing a fourth car for the Indy 500 next year, Kyle Busch is a candidate but not at the top of the IndyCar team’s list.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown addressed the possibility Wednesday morning during a video news conference with Gavin Ward, the team’s newly named racing director.

“I have not personally spoken with Kyle Busch, but you can read into that that someone else in our organization has,” Brown said. “We want to make sure if we run a fourth car, we’re in the mindset that we want someone that is experienced around the 500. It’s such an important race, and from a going for the championship point of view, we’ve got three drivers that we want to have finish as strong as possible, so if we ran a fourth car, we’d want to be additive, not only for the fourth car itself, but to the three cars and so bringing in someone who’s not done it before potentially doesn’t add that value from an experience point of view.”

Busch will race the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing next season in NASCAR under a new deal that will allow the two-time Cup Series champion to make his Indy 500 debut. Busch, who had a previous deal to run the Indy 500 nixed by Joe Gibbs Racing, openly courted Chevy IndyCar teams to contact him during his introductory news conference with RCR last month.

After Team Penske (which has given no indications of a fourth car at Indy alongside champion Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin), McLaren is the second-best Chevy organization, and it’s fielded an extra Indy 500 car the past two years for Juan Pablo Montoya. The Associated Press reported last month that McLaren was in “serious conversation” about running Busch at Indy with Menards sponsorship.

But with its restructured management, the team is in the midst of significant expansion for 2023. AMSP is adding a third full-time car for 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to team with Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and a massive new shop also is being built in the Indianapolis area.

“(It’s) not because of him but purely because of experience,” Brown said of Busch. “He’s an awesome talent and would be huge, huge news for the speedway. But yeah, I think everyone is under consideration if we decide to do it, but experience is right at the top of the list as far as what’s going to be the most important to us.”

And it seems likely there will be a veteran joining Rossi, O’Ward and Rosenqvist at the Brickyard.

“A fourth car at the 500 is very much under consideration,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t even want to get ahead of ourselves, but we wouldn’t be ruling out a fourth car in the future on a full-time basis. That definitely wouldn’t be for ’23. But as we expand the team and get into larger facilities and things of that nature, it’s something that Gavin and I have spoken about.

“I think we would be in a position to run a fourth car at the 500 this upcoming year. If we do decide to do that, we’ll make that decision soon for maximum preparation, and I would say we’re open minded to a fourth car in ’24 and beyond and probably will make that decision middle of next year in time to be prepared if we did decide to do that.”

Brown also addressed the future of Alex Palou, who will be racing for Chip Ganassi Racing next season after also signing a deal with McLaren. Though Brown declined to get into specifics about whether Palou had signed a new deal, he confirmed Palou will continue to test “our Formula One car from time to time.

“Everyone has reached an amicable solution,” Brown said. “We’ve now had Alex in our Formula One car as we have Pato. That will continue in the future, which we’re quite excited about. At this point we’re laser-focused on 2023 and glad to have the noise behind us and now just want to put our head down and get on with the job with the three drivers we have.”