Photo: ACO/DPPI

Chase Carey named honorary starter at this year’s Le Mans

Leave a comment

New CEO and executive chairman of the Formula One group, Chase Carey, will start this year’s 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The move signals a bit of greater collaboration between two of the FIA’s top series, F1 and the FIA World Endurance Championship, which clashed this weekend last year with F1 in Baku, Azerbaijan for the inaugural Grand Prix there.

Carey’s presence at Le Mans has been known throughout the week and was formally confirmed on Friday morning at the annual Le Mans press conference.

“(I’m) delighted that Chase Carey immediately accepted the invitation to be 2017 race starter,” ACO president Pierre Fillon said. “By starting the race side by side, we will be demonstrating the new ties forged between the ACO and Formula One, facilitated by Jean Todt, president of FIA, our partner in the World Endurance Championship.

“The ACO has always been strongly attached to the passion for endurance racing, its history and above all to the fans, the people who make the discipline what it is. With Chase Carey as head of Formula One, the time has come to work together on the sporting calendar, to ensure fans can follow the Grand Prix and endurance racing seasons and enjoy both disciplines to the full.”

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.