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Lewis Hamilton says he’s not distracted by ‘Paradise Papers’

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SAO PAULO (AP) Being linked to tax avoidance in the “Paradise Papers” will not distract Lewis Hamilton from his job.

The four-time Formula One champion said Wednesday that his “core values” are intact despite being named in the papers, which show he avoided paying more than $4 million in taxes for a private jet.

Hamilton, who won his fourth F1 title on Oct. 29 in Mexico, is in Sao Paulo for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

“I’ve come from this great period of time with my family and friends that have this huge wave of positivity. Nothing can really dent that,” the Mercedes driver said. “I am solely focused on the race this weekend, and we have two races to go. That doesn’t distract me from my core values and what I am here to do.”

Hamilton’s lawyers noted in a statement that registering a jet in the tax haven of the Isle of Man is legal.

The “Paradise Papers” revealed that Hamilton was given refund of more than $4 million after his Bombardier Challenger 605 was imported to the Isle of Man in 2013.

The papers also name several leading figures in politics, business and art.

At 32, Hamilton is closing in on Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 titles. But he said wasn’t interested in chasing that mark.

“It has never been my desire,” Hamilton said. “I still have time ahead of me. The question is to see exactly what I want. I never had the dream to chase Michael.”

After the news conference, Hamilton autographed a miniature Mercedes with boyhood idol Ayrton Senna painted on it.

Vivianne Senna, sister of the late three-time F1 champion, said she and the family will cheer for Hamilton on Sunday.

“We can see your passion for Ayrton is real,” she said. “That is why we from the Senna family will be always on your side, too.”

IMSA at Mid-Ohio Sunday: How to watch, schedules, TV, stream info

IMSA Mid-Ohio schedule
IMSA
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The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to a sprint as the circuit enters the stretch run of the 2020 season with a packed weekend schedule at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge will be a two-hour, 40-minute race around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio, for the DPi, GTLM and GTD classes.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar teams will practice Friday and Saturday. Qualifying will take place at 8 a.m. Sunday before a 2 p.m. green flag (same-day delay 11 p.m. ET, NBCSN; streaming on NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold) for the headlining race of a busy weekend.

There will be eight other races at Mid-Ohio across four series: the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The GTLM class of IMSA’s top series will be short two entries with Porsche pulling out because of positive COVID-19 tests at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend.

This will mark the seventh race of the season. After Mid-Ohio, there are three events left for the premier DPi and four for the GT division, including two of the year’s longest (the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring season finale).

Here are the details for IMSA this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio

WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.

TV:  11 p.m. (same-day delay), NBCSN (streaming link); 2 p.m. NBC Sports App (streaming link) / TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

STREAM: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live flag to flag starting at 2 p.m.)

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, as well as SiriusXM

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours and 40 minutes around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 81 degrees with a 1% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here for which WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams are racing at Mid-Ohio


IMSA Mid-Ohio weekend schedule

Friday

6:10-7:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Saturday

10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Sunday

8-9:05 a.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

2 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge