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.

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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.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.