Jacky Ickx – Grand Marshall at 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans

by Jean-Paul Hackett

Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx will be the Grand Marshal for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The line-up for the 86th Le Mans 24 Hours promises a tremendous race on 16th and 17th of June. The ACO has chosen a Grand Marshal who is more than familiar with race procedures than most of his predecessors.

With six wins to his name Ickx has written a whole chapter of Le Mans history, his extraordinary success only rivalled by that of nine-time winner Tom Kristensen.

Jacky Ickx Porsche 936

Credit: Porsche Museum

As Grand Marshal, the Belgian champion, famed in Formula One, endurance and rallying will have the honour of driving the car that leads the field for the formation lap of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday afternoon.

Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), had this to say about the decision to appoint Ickx, “Everyone knows that Jacky Ickx is a great driver and a great man and he will surely make a great Grand Marshal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018.

“The 60-car field will be following in illustrious footsteps. With Jacky Ickx leading the way, the race can only be a success. We are particularly proud that he has accepted the role. He is a father-figure in the endurance community.”

Porsche Pressekonferenz 24h Le Mans 2016, Jackie Ickxs, Gerard Neveu (r-l)

Credit: Porsche A.G.

Pleased with having the opportunity to play such an important role, Ickx added, “I’m delighted to be able to take part in the event. Le Mans has always been kind to me. I’ve had many good times here, as a driver. I’ve also been race director and have been the race starter too.

This year, I shall be Grand Marshal. This race has always held something special to me, as a driver and as a person. It brings out the fundamental elements of driving. It’s about sharing, daring, focusing, friendship and fans. It’s intense, and it’s extraordinary. I can see myself already, at the wheel, behind me a field of heroic drivers, amateurs and professionals.”

The 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 3 PM local time on Saturday the 16th of June.

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