2014 Le Mans date moved up to June 14-15; no F1 race planned that weekend

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The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced the 2014 date for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 82nd running of the French endurance classic will be held June 14-15, a week earlier than this year. Additional dates around the event include the traditional test day to be held Sunday, June 1, with scrutineering (technical inspection) on June 8-9.

The race was moved back to June 22-23 this year, initially, to avoid a conflict with the new Grand Prix of Port Imperial Formula One race that was set to be held June 16. The race at Port Imperial was postponed until 2014, but the Le Mans date did not move back as planned.

On Friday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, the FIA confirmed there won’t be a Formula One race on the same weekend as Le Mans. That could free up any of the current F1 drivers to race at Le Mans, which has not been done since Sebastien Bourdais did so in 2009.

Another area to note is that the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament will be held June 12-15. That’s televised by NBC, and could cause the F1 TV for that weekend to shift around if there was a Grand Prix.

No F1 race on that June 14-15 weekend would imply the Port Imperial round, which has been projected to follow the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, would not occur on the second half of the back-to-back weekends.

Monaco is scheduled for May 25, but the rest of the Formula One calendar for 2014 is yet to be determined.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).