2015 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 champion Mark Webber has been announced as the Grand Marshal for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speaking in a recorded video at the ACO entry list unveiling, the Australian said he was thrilled to be nominated for the honor.
“It’s a very exciting time with a new season ahead, and of course the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be an absolutely cracking race again,” said Webber. “If it’s anything like last year, it’s going to be an incredible event.
“I am honored to be asked as the Grand Marshall, so thanks to the ACO, the FIA, and the WEC. I am looking forward to it. I’ve never done anything like that before.”
A five time starter at the French endurance classic, Webber made his Le Mans debut in 1998 for Mercedes-AMG.
His return to sports car racing with Porsche after a successful Formula One career saw Webber record a career-best second place result in the race in his championship-winning season, alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.
Webber said his attachment to Porsche has not faded, but he expects a thrilling race in all four categories.
“Of course I will be favoring my beloved Porsche, but Toyota will be very hungry to get the outright victory,” he said. “LMP2 looks good, and a record entry for manufacturers in GT, so it’s going to be a cracking event.”
Asked what it means to serve in the role of Grand Marshall after the likes of Alex Wurz, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Henri Pescarolo held that position in recent years, Webber said his brief Le Mans career didn’t quite fit in.
“Those four gentlemen have a tremendous record at Le Mans,” he said. They’ve been racing there for a very long time.
“I did not really have the time at Le Mans and also the record those guys have the luxury of having, but [being Grand Marshal] gives us the opportunity to talk to a lot of people in a bit of a more relaxed atmosphere and explain to the people how important this event is.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!”