Townsend Bell’s TUDOR ride set for 2015, with Scuderia Corsa

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NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell will stay behind the wheel in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship next season, as he and Bill Sweedler will shift from AIM Autosport to Scuderia Corsa.

They’ll share the No. 63 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 rather than the No. 555 entry. It keeps them together for another season in a GTD-spec 458 after also running a Lotus Evora (2012) and Ferrari F458 Italia (2013) previously in the American Le Mans Series.

“It goes without saying that we are very excited about joining Scuderia Corsa,” Bell said in a release. “On many levels, this partnership will make a lot of sense. I’m thrilled to be continuing our relationship with Ferrari and to continue driving the Ferrari 458 Italia. Scuderia Corsa won two races last year, they are a championship winning team, and as a bonus for me it is great to be joining a team that is also based in Los Angeles where I live! I am looking forward to a lot of success with this program.”

In terms of schedules, there is only one TUDOR GTD and IndyCar weekend conflict. On August 23, the TUDOR Championship will be at VIRginia International Raceway while IndyCar is at Pocono Raceway.

Otherwise the two schedules slot up nicely to allow Bell an opportunity to continue his dual role as full-time analyst and full-time sports car driver.

If an opportunity presents itself for Bell and Sweedler to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as has been reported by Sportscar365, that weekend would conflict with the IndyCar weekend in Toronto, June 13-14. Bell and Sweedler have yet to race at Le Mans.

This was the second GTD signing announced earlier this week; additionally, TRG-AMR has confirmed Christina Nielsen alongside James Davison for a full season in the No. 007 Aston Martin Vantage. Nielsen, a young Danish driver, competed in the IMSA Porsche GT3 USA Challenge this year and sporadic TUDOR Championship events. Davison ran the full season and scored the last four poles in a row; he also made his Indianapolis 500 debut.

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).