Setting the pace for the rolling start at the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans, five-time race winner Emanuele Pirro has been announce as the race’s Grand Marshal.
Ex-Audi Sport racer Pirro will be responsible for leading the 59-strong grid off the start line and round the formation lap, before breaking into the pits ahead of the rolling start. It is a special year for Pirro to take on Grand Marshal responsibilities as it was 20 years ago the Italian took his first victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Having shared the wheel of his Audi R10 TDI with a high calibre of drivers such as Tom Kristensen, Frack Biela, Marco Werner and Allen McNish, Pirro was a strong asset to the Audi team during his time racing with them, know best for his out going nature and fast driving skills.
Since having retired in 2010, Pirro is a member of the FIA Drivers’ Commission and regular spectator at the blue-riband race, being picked up as a commentator frequently to share his knowledge and experience of the 8.4 mile circuit. He joins a distiguished list of past Grand Marshals at Le Mans, including Henri Pescarolo (2013), McNish (2014), Kristensen (2015), Alex Wurz (2016), Mark Webber (2017), Jacky Ickx (2018) and Hurley Haywood (2019).
“I’m delighted to be back at Le Mans in this role.” Pirro said. “It will be great to be back on the circuit, to test the new Porsche Curves. It used to be a key spot; you could lose a lot of time if you weren’t careful.
“I’m looking forward to going through there as leader of the pack.”
Although the Covid-19 global pandemic has seen the race forced to go behind closed doors, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has done everything in their power to make the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans as like its previous renditions as possible. The race will be started by the traditional drop of the French national flag, with responsibilities this year going to Chairman of the Managing Board of Groupe PSA, Carlos Tavares.
“I am honoured to be the starter of the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans.” Tavares said upon being appointed. “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.
“I would like to thank the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for giving me this privilege.“
The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins at 13:30 BST, 14:30 race local time.