NASCAR youngsters enamored with Batman’s rides on film studio tour

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With NASCAR setting up shop this weekend in Southern California, it was only natural that a group of their rising stars took advantage of a time-honored tourist “to-do”: Visiting the movie studios in Hollywood.

It was also natural that they particularly enjoyed an up-close and personal look with some famous film vehicles – the Batmobile and the Batpod from the recent Batman “Dark Knight” trilogy.

We figure Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon would make for an intimidating sight if he could take the Batpod on the high banks.

Nationwide drivers Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott, along with Camping World Truck racer Darrell Wallace Jr., also made time to check out the Batmobile.

Batmobile

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But they did manage to take themselves away from the sweet rides and head down to “Central Perk,” the famed coffeeshop from the legendary NBC sitcom “Friends.”

And they even managed to get some face time with Ashton Kutcher on the set of “Two And A Half Men.”

All in all, not a bad way to spend some down time away from the garage.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”