Photo: Jake Parsons Racing

MRTI: Jake Parsons set to join Juncos’ Pro Mazda 2016 lineup as well

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Add another driver to Juncos Racing’s lineup in the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season: Australian driver Jake Parsons.

Parsons, who’s tested with Juncos already this year, becomes the third driver confirmed with Will Owen and Nicolas Dapero.

The 20-year-old Sydney resident won the 2014 Asia Cup and impressed during this year’s Formula Masters China Series, finishing as vice champion. He has also travelled to the U.K. to spend time testing in the GP2 simulator, posting competitive times alongside a series front runner.

A move to the Mazda Road to Indy has been a big focus for the young antipodean driver, who is now looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“I have a lot to learn but I know this is the best place to do that,” Parsons said. “It’s been a very smooth and positive start. The pace has already been strong and I’ve integrated well into the team.”

Juncos’ three remaining drivers from 2015 beyond Owen, in Garett Grist, Timothe Buret and Jose Gutierrez, are yet to confirm their 2016 plans.

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. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR 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 would seem right for 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 — to spend 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).