The 24 Hours of Le Mans has named basketball icon LeBron James as the official starter for its centenary race.
The four-time NBA champion and double Olympic gold medalist will be the one to signal the start of this historic event on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 16:00 (French hour).
The 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race that has been a staple in the automotive world for a century, is set to celebrate its glittering anniversary in grand style. The event, which has always been a crowd-puller, is expected to be a full house this year, with every seat filled to witness this momentous occasion.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organizers of the race, have managed to secure the participation of LeBron James, a global superstar who has left an indelible mark on the world of sports. Known for his prowess on the basketball court, his innovative business ventures, and philanthropic efforts, James will be the one to lower the French flag, setting the 62-strong field of racers into motion.
The tradition of having a notable personality from various fields such as politics, sports, film, or industry to start the race has been in place since 1949. The list of previous official starters is a star-studded one, including names like Brad Pitt (2016), Rafael Nadal (2018), Alain Delon (1996), French president Georges Pompidou (1972), and Steve McQueen (1971).
Pierre Fillon, the president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, expressed his excitement about LeBron James’ involvement. He said, “I am thrilled to welcome LeBron James to the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary and thank him most sincerely for accepting our invitation. LeBron James is a true sporting legend whose list of achievements and records commands respect and admiration. We are looking forward to introducing him to the unique Le Mans atmosphere and the excitement generated by the Centenary of the world’s greatest endurance race.”
LeBron James also shared his enthusiasm about being part of this historic moment in motorsport. He said, “There’s nothing like seeing and experiencing sports at their highest level. It’s an honor for me to be part of this historic moment in motor sport and help celebrate the Centenary of one of the biggest sporting events in the world. I look forward to kicking off this iconic race and watching its world-class drivers compete on Le Mans’ global stage.”
As the world gears up for the centenary race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the anticipation is palpable. With LeBron James at the helm, the event promises to be a spectacle that will be remembered for years to come.
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