Formula 1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey has been named the official starter for the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Carey was appointed F1’s new ringmaster in January following Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport, ending Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year reign.
Carey has already shown an openness to other racing series, having recently met with FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu to discuss avoiding future calendar clashes where possible.
Carey was known to be attending the race earlier this week, with the official starter announcement coming in the ACO’s press conference on Friday.
ACO president Pierre Fillon is planning to alternate between a racing figure and a celebrity taking the official starter role. Carey follows in the footsteps of actor Brad Pitt, who waived the French Tricolore to start last year’s race.
“It’s a great symbol,” Fillon told the assembled media. “Formula 1 and endurance were fighting each other for many years. I think it’s a great thing.”
A release from the ACO also stated: “This is a strong symbol for all fans of endurance and grand prix racing, because the two flagship motorsport disciplines are both driven by the values of passion and excellence.”
Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report.