The 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans featured Ferrari President John Elkann in the role of honorary starter. Elkann was invited to oversee the start by Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, after the Prancing Horse marque had announced its return to the Hypercar category in the oldest and most prestigious motorsport endurance race.
The Ferrari delegation, which also included Enrico Galliera, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, met up with the principal institutional figures, among them Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Committee.
"It's wonderful to be at Le Mans, and it's a great honor to start the race of this year", declared John Elkann. "Thinking about 2023, for the 100th anniversary, coming back as Ferrari is something that we are deeply excited about, particularly because it is not only about our past, but more importantly it is about our future".
Prior to the race start, John Elkann walked the length of the grid to greet the participants, lingering in particular to welcome the thirteen 488 GTEs entrants competing in this edition, accompanied by Ferrari's Antonello Coletta, Head of Attività Sportive GT.
After pronouncing the traditional "Démarrez vos moteurs" formula and unfurling the French national flag, Elkann visited the race control from which all the entrants are monitored.
Ferrari can boast a long winning tradition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans which harks back to 1949 with the triumph of Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon at the wheel of a 166 MM Barchetta Touring, followed by a further eight overall wins and 27 class victories, the most recent of which was claimed by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra in 2019.
The race, currently underway, will conclude at 16:00 tomorrow.