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GP3 confirms test dates for 2016 season

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The GP3 Series has confirmed its testing schedule for the 2016 season that hints that the opening race of the year is likely to be in Russia.

Earlier this week, GP2 announced its testing calendar that also points to the first race of the season being at the Sochi Autodrom in support of the Russian Grand Prix.

The GP3 season usually starts at the second race of the GP2 campaign, which in recent years has been in Spain.

However, with the final pre-season test planned to take place in Barcelona on April 20-21, it is feasible that the teams will then travel to Russia for the first race of the year on April 30.

Should this nine-day turnaround prove too tight for the teams though, the season would then certainly start once again in Barcelona on May 14.

Here’s the GP3 testing schedule for 2016:

  1. Estoril, Portugal – March 22-24
  2. Valencia, Spain – April 7-8
  3. Barcelona, Spain – April 20-21
  4. Spielberg, Austria – June 7-8

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).