Ferrari

Lucas di Grassi joins AF Corse for 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Lucas di Grassi will link up with Ferrari’s AF Corse team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, racing in its No. 51 entry alongside James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Di Grassi was part of Audi’s LMP1 team prior to its closure at the end of 2016, and has scored three overall podiums at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the German marque.

The Brazilian confirmed to NBC Sports last month that he was chasing a deal to race at Le Mans with a factory team, and was today announced in a seat with AF Corse.

Di Grassi will race in the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE at Le Mans alongside Calado and Pier Guidi, who form the marque’s full-season line-up.

“I’m very happy to be back at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” di Grassi said. “Every professional racing driver wants to be part of history and to race for Ferrari means a lot to me.

“Manufacturer-backed GTE-Pro is undoubtedly the best place to be after my four years in LMP1.”

Di Grassi took to Twitter to stress that the deal would be a one-off for Le Mans only, once again stating that Formula E is his priority with Audi in 2017.

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).