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LeBron James named as Le Mans 24 Hours official starter

Basketball legend LeBron James has been announced as the official starter for the centenary Le Mans 24 Hours.

Race start

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The four-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist will be given the honour of being the official starter for the 2023 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which gets underway at 4pm local time on 10 June.

Since 1949, the race starter role has been frequently given to a personality from the world of politics, sport, film or other celebrity industries.

Previous official starters include Rafael Nadal (2018), Brad Pitt (2016), Alain Delon (1996), Georges Pompidou (1972) and Steve McQueen (1971).

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James, who recently became the all-time leading points scorer in NBA history, says he's honoured to receive the role and be part of the history of celebrating 100 years of Le Mans.

"There's nothing like seeing and experiencing sports at their highest level," James said in a statement.

"It's an honour for me to be part of this historic moment in motorsport and help celebrate the centenary of one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

"I look forward to kicking off this iconic race and watching its world-class drivers compete on Le Mans' global stage."

 

"I am thrilled to welcome LeBron James to the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary and thank him most sincerely for accepting our invitation," Pierre Fillon, Automobile Club de l'Ouest president, added.

"The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a world-renowned event that, in the past, has welcomed some great names from various fields.

"LeBron James is a true sporting legend whose list of achievements and records commands respect and admiration. We are looking forward to introducing him to the unique Le Mans atmosphere and the excitement generated by the centenary of the world's greatest endurance race."

Last week Ferrari topped the Le Mans Test Day ahead of its return to the top class of racing at the iconic endurance event, with Antonio Giovinazzi setting a best time of 3m29.504s in the #51 Ferrari 499P Le Mans Hypercar.

Track action resumes on Wednesday with opening practice at 2pm local time.

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