Zinédine Zidane will kick off | EUROtoday

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VS'is a brand new distinguished visitor for the largest automobile race on the planet. Zinédine Zidane can have the distinction of kicking off the subsequent 24 hours of Le Mans on June 15. Legend of French soccer, world champion in 1998 and European champion in 2000, the playmaker turned coach can have the troublesome activity of waving the French flag when the 92 beginse version of the well-known race, counting for the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is unique,” ​​enthuses the person who additionally received a Champions League with Real Madrid in 2002, earlier than profitable it thrice as a coach. “For all those that love motorsport, for the entire world, it’s a legendary race. It’s French pleasure! […] So it will likely be a fantastic first to be there. Needless to say, I’m actually honored to tackle this function as starter. »

“Pilots, begin your engines. »

Since 1949 and the return of the basic Le Mans on the finish of the Second World War, it has been a convention: annually a star, sporting, creative or from the enterprise world, is designated starter. It is that this one who is answerable for giving the official begin of the race, in accordance with a exact schedule.

READ ALSO WEC 2024: as a result of there may be extra to life than Formula 1Present on the beginning grid, among the many vehicles and entrants, the star of the day should pronounce a legendary phrase: “Drivers, begin your engines. » It is at this second that the visitor is given an imposing tricolor flag, which he carries with him to a small basket overlooking the timing line, whereas the vehicles full a primary loop of the circuit, the well-known heating tower.

This is a rolling begin, which differs from the standing begins that we see in Formula 1 for instance. Just earlier than ending their warm-up, the drivers regroup, nonetheless driving, respecting a exact hole from one automobile to a different. At this second, the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey is broadcast loudly on all of the loudspeakers at Le Mans to pump up the thrill. Once the French flag was waved by the starter and the road crossed by the primary automobile formally begins the race, and the 24-hour countdown.

Rafael Nadal, Brad Pitt, Alain Delon…

Rather reserved for motorsport and political figures from the post-war interval within the Fifties, the starter's mission regularly prolonged to larger names. Henri Ford II, boss of the American vehicle large, gave the beginning in 1966, the legendary yr of a duel between Ford and Ferrari, not too long ago delivered to the cinema with Matt Damon and Christian Bale. In 1972, it was Georges Pompidou who took care of it, and to this present day he stays the one President of the Republic to have performed so.

READ ALSO Paul Newman, Jacky Ickx…: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, circuit of heroesAlain Delon in 1996, Luc Besson in 2002, and Brad Pitt in 2016 represented cinema on this event. Forever linked to Le Mans, Steve McQueen by no means had this opportunity, even when he was named honorary president of the occasion in 1971.

More not too long ago, it was Patrick Pouyanné who gave the beginning, after two years with out ceremony, resulting from Covid-19. During the distinctive centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which happened final yr, it was one of many biggest basketball gamers of all time, LeBron James, who took on this honorary mission. Only one lady, Hélène Blanc, then prefect of Sarthe, had this honor in 1991.

This yr once more, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will happen in entrance of packed grandstands, the ticket workplace having been stormed in December. In all, 62 crews will take the beginning, with a complete of 186 drivers. At the height of endurance, 23 Hypercars, starting from Ferrari to Porsche, together with Peugeot and Alpine, will compete for total victory. A file.