NASCAR: Drive to End Hunger returning as primary sponsor for Jeff Gordon

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Hendrick Motorsports may be losing the backing of the National Guard at season’s end, but has retained another of its more prominent sponsors.

The AARP’s Drive to End Hunger campaign will again be featured on Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet next season, serving as a primary sponsor for 13 races (including the Daytona 500) and as an associate in all other Sprint Cup events.

“What’s been accomplished by Drive to End Hunger in a relatively short time is absolutely inspiring,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “At the beginning, we felt the program would ultimately be judged on how many lives it impacted.

“There’s no question it’s been successful by that measure, but we still have much more to do. Our team is proud to continue the effort alongside our friends at AARP and AARP Foundation and with the incredible support of the NASCAR community.”

Since the campaign’s inception in 2011, more than 30 million meals have been donated as part of its effort to fight hunger among adults over the age of 50 and help create short and long-term solutions to older adult hunger.

Next season will mark the AARP’s fifth as a primary sponsor for Gordon and the No. 24 team.

“NASCAR fans have been such a big part of the success of Drive to End Hunger, and we’re really grateful for that,” said Gordon, who continues to sit atop the Sprint Cup championship standings going into this weekend’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.

“I’ve seen them packing meals, texting donations and getting involved in their communities. AARP and AARP Foundation are incredible partners to be involved with, and I’m very happy to continue our work together. It’s been an extremely rewarding and humbling experience for me personally.”

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.