Cooper's new Vector Blue Cadillac. All photos: Cadillac Racing

Cadillac back for PWC season; Taylors join for SprintX rounds

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After a rare year knocked from the top of their perch in Pirelli World Challenge, the pair of Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.Rs will be back raring to go this season with a two-car effort confirmed for the full season.

Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper return, respectively, in the No. 3 and No. 8 Cadillacs. O’Connell retains the Velocity Red livery while Cooper’s No. 8 car shifts from the standard black to a new Vector Blue colors.

Meanwhile, they’ll have the Taylor brothers on board for the SprintX races at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Utah Motorsports Campus and the Circuit of the Americas. Jordan Taylor has had occasional PWC starts with Cadillac in the past, normally at Mid-Ohio, while Ricky Taylor is new to the series. Specific pairings will be determined later.

“Ricky and Jordan are doing a great job proving themselves on the world stage, especially with that great win at Daytona two weeks ago,” said O’Connell, Cadillac’s four-time PWC champion. “I am very much looking forward to working with them this season in the SprintX races. Amazing strides have been made the last several years in PWC that have made it a destination for top drivers. I plan to keep an open mind heading into the first SprintX round at VIR in April.”

“The championship-winning Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe has established itself as a clear winner in the Pirelli World Challenge series,” said Rich Brekus, Global Director of Product Strategy for Cadillac. “Competing with and beating other top brands demonstrates and confirms the Cadillac V-Performance abilities on race tracks across North America.”

O'Connell's No. 3 Cadillac.
O’Connell’s No. 3 Cadillac.
O'Connell, Cooper, Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor.
O’Connell, Cooper, Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor.

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).