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.”