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Dakar Rally update: Monday’s Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, poor conditions

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Monday’s Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally was cancelled due to rain that inundated the area Sunday, resulting in track conditions that made racing impassible.

Stage 9 was originally slated to go from Tupiza, Bolivia, to Salta, Argentina. But due to Monday’s cancellation, teams will move their encampments across the Argentinian border to Salta.

Stage 10 will start early Tuesday in Salta and progress to Belen, Argentina.

After that, there will be four stages remaining, ending Saturday in Cordoba, Argentina.

Here’s the official statement from Rally officials about Monday’s Stage 9 cancellation:

“The organizers of the Dakar had no choice but to cancel Stage 9, which was supposed to take place between Tupiza and Salta on Monday.

“Weather conditions in the area in the last few days are preventing assistance crews from refurbishing race vehicles for tomorrow’s stage after the demanding marathon stage.

“The field of the Dakar will therefore head to the Salta bivouac by road. The rally will resume with stage 10 from Salta to Belén.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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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).