Brad Pitt to give start for 24 Hours of Le Mans in June

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The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has confirmed that Hollywood star Brad Pitt will give the start for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18.

Each year, the start of the prestigious race at the Circuit de la Sarthe is waved off by a special guest, with recent invitees including FIA president Jean Todt, two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso and NASCAR president Jim France.

On Friday, ACO president Pierre Fillon confirmed that Pitt will wave the French Tricolore to start the 24-hour race.

The star of films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonMoneyball and the Ocean’s trilogy, Pitt is rumored to be working on a film version of the book Go Like Hell, detailing the battle between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans in the 1960s.

Pitt is not the first figure from the entertainment world to take the role of honorary starter, with French film director Luc Besson (2002) and, most famously, Steve McQueen (1971) also waving the cars off at Le Mans in the past.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.