PSA Groupe CEO Carlos Tavares has been named the honorary starter for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Tavares, a key player in the automotive industry who is leading Peugeot’s return to the French endurance classic in 2022, will wave the French tri-colour flag to start the race on Sept. 19 at 2:30 p.m. local time.
According to ACO President Pierre Fillon, having Tavares as this year’s starter underlines the the “unity” between the race and the auto industry.
“For manufacturers, the 24 Hours of Le Mans represents an outstanding testing ground and a place in the limelight on the worldwide stage,” said Fillon. “Le Mans guarantees international coverage and a chance to take the lead in energy transition.
“Peugeot has an excellent record at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a promising future too. Peugeot has already made its mark at Le Mans, by winning three times, with the 905 and the 908, two impressive machines.
“I’m grateful to Carlos Tavares for accepting our invitation to be starter of this year’s race, which will be all about unity and the vibrancy of motoring and motor racing.”
Tavares is a distinguished driver in his own right, primarily in historic racing.
He follows in the footsteps of Princess Charlene of Monaco, who was the official starter in last year’s race.
“As you know, I am passionate about motorsport, I am passionate about the automotive field, and I am passionate about technology and the 24 Hours of Le Mans combines all three,” Tavares said.
“Peugeot will soon be racing again, and as the starter of this edition, I would like to draw attention to the fact that Peugeot will be back in endurance in 2022 and that the whole company is behind the project.
“Peugeot won three times with two different technologies and now we are aiming for victory with hybrid technology.
“I would like to thank the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for giving me this privilege. Also, I would like to thank warmly all the teams that are going to compete and everyone who contributes to the organization of this event, especially in these challenging times.”