Ferrari boss John Elkann named official starter of 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours - Motor Informed
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Ferrari boss John Elkann named official starter of 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours

The Italian-American will drop the French flag on the 62-car discipline at this yr’s double-points spherical of the World Endurance Championship at 4pm on 21 August.

Elkann’s appointment within the honorary starter function by race organiser the Car Membership de l’Ouest follows the announcement on the finish of February that Ferrari will finish a 50-year absence from the highest flight of sportscar racing as a manufacturing unit in 2023.

The marque will make its first bid for outright honours with a works crew on the 24 Hours since 1973 with a brand new Le Mans Hypercar as a part of WEC marketing campaign.

Elkann, who’s chairman of Ferrari, described the prospect to start out Le Mans as “a really distinctive privilege and one stuffed with emotion for me”.

“Le Mans is far more than a problem of mechanical endurance: it’s a distinctive area in time that recollects a number of the best racing rivalries of the previous, and creates new tales and legends yearly it’s run,” he stated.

“Ferrari’s historical past, that additionally binds us to those 24 hours, is one in every of ardour, pleasure and success at Le Mans that started in 1949 [with its victory in the first post-war edition of the race].

“However above all, it’s a story of innovation, technological daring and dramatic sporting problem on the very highest stage.

“All of which additionally explains our latest choice to convey Ferrari again to the Hypercar class and to Le Mans in 2023.”

Carlos Tavares waves the 24 Hours of Le Mans starter's flag

Carlos Tavares waves the 24 Hours of Le Mans starter’s flag

Photograph by: Adrenal Media

ACO president Pierre Fillon added: “Given the all-round jubilation witnessed when Ferrari introduced its return, it’s significantly becoming that John ought to begin the race.

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“Having producers as prestigious as Ferrari be a part of the Hypercar class alerts a glittering future for endurance racing.”

Ferrari has begun to flesh out particulars of its LMH programme within the wake of the information of its return earlier this yr.

It introduced final month that it’s going to preserve its relationship with the AF Corse squad, which has masterminded its manufacturing unit WEC campaigns within the GTE Professional class because the revival of the WEC in 2012, for the brand new programme.

It’s anticipated that the Ferrari LMH hybrid prototype will start testing within the second quarter of 2022.

Elkann, who’s the grandson of long-time Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli, is not the primary Ferrari boss to be the honorary starter.

Luca di Montezemolo crammed the function in 2009 when he was president of Ferrari and dad or mum firm Fiat.

Different main figures from the automotive world to be honoured with the function embody Henry Ford II in 1966, Agnelli in 1968 and Ferdinand Piech, the architect of the double Le Mans-winning Porsche 917, when he was chairman of Volkswagen in 2001.

Movie director Luc Besson and actor Brad Pitt waved off the sphere in 2002 and 2016 respectively.

The job of official starter has additionally been crammed by politicians, royalty, native dignitaries and astronauts.

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