Over 70 years ago Bill France Sr took a fledgling racing series and launched it into a dynasty. Today the family continues the legacy.
The 77 year old son of Bill France Sr is being presented with Spirit of Le Mans Award for his “longtime impact in motorsports” and for his work with IMSA – the International Motor Sports Association and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
France will be presented the award on June 10 on the eve of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The ACO calls the Spirit of Le Mans trophy as saluting, “the men and women who uphold the values of enduring racing by their commitment, team spirit and competitive drive.”
The agreement France helped to broker will allow drivers in competing series to run the same prototype cars in IMSA and the ACO.
The chicane on the road course at Daytona International Speedway used to be called “The Bus Stop”; it has been renamed the Le Mans Chicane; conversely, the first chicane of the Le Mans road course has been named the Daytona Chicane.
Jim France spoke on the agreement saying, “I take tremendous pride in the relationship we have built with the ACO over the past decade. IMSA and the ACO are the caretakers of endurance sports car racing all over the world and together we have developed a platform for an incredibly bright future.”
Speaking on winning the Le Mans trophy France added, “I am deeply humbled and honored to be selected by close friend (ACO President) Pierre Fillon and the ACO Board of Directors to receive the prestigious ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ Trophy this year. Joining the list of so many respected previous recipients is something that I and my family will forever cherish.”
Two time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and Grand Marshall Geranrd Larrousse will also be honoured at the ceremony.
This year TotalEnergies is supplying the fuel for the 62 car field – a 100 percent renewable fuel. Total Energies President Patrick Pouyanne will serve as the official starter for the race.
NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports joined forces for a venture that would allow a modified version of the Next Gen stock car to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023.
IMSA, Chevrolet, and Goodyear will partner to provide Camaro ZL1 and will occupy garage number 66 – one reserved for non-traditional IMSA/AOC cars.
Feature photo credit: Jim France (cropped).jpg