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Bill Ford Named 24H Le Mans Starter

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. to serve as LM24 starter…

Photo: Ford

Photo: Ford

William Clay Ford Jr., the Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, has been named the honorary stater for the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, will wave the tri-colour flag to get the race underway, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Henry Ford II, who served as the starter in 1966.

“The history of my family is very closely linked to the legendary La Sarthe circuit event,” Bill Ford said. “Fifty years ago, the duel with Ferrari out on the track became one of milestone periods in the history of motorsport.

“It’s a great honor to come to the Le Mans 24 Hours this year and drop the flag to start this legendary endurance race as my uncle did back in 1966.”

The appointment of Ford as honorary starter adds more fuel to the reports that the Detroit manufacturer will be officially announcing its return to the French endurance classic at Le Mans next month.

The much-reported factory Ford GT effort would coincide with the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first overall win the race.

Bill Ford joined the company’s Board of Directors in 1998 and has been Ford’s chairman since 1999, before being named executive chairman in 2006.

He becomes the second American to serve as race starter in the last three years, following IMSA Chairman Jim France in 2013.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mike

    May 31, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    That was Henry Ford II that was the starter in 1966, not HFIII.

    • John Dagys

      May 31, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks.

  2. powderedtoast

    June 1, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Really looking forward to Ford’s return. I hope they go like hell! :cheers:

  3. Fabio

    June 1, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Here’s hoping they take a chance at the full WEC season, however unlikely it may be

    • Doug

      June 1, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Would make better press to race Ford v Chevy in tudor.

      • Chip Ganassi

        June 2, 2015 at 11:59 am

        This is 100% the case and why it won’t be a factory team in WEC

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