New President of the Classic British Welcome, Richard TOTEE has unveiled the themes that will accompany the 2023 edition of this event, which will animate the whole town of Saint-Saturnin, one day before the Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans!
First of all, the automotive theme: “the excitement caused by the official return of Ferrari to the 24 Hours of Le Mans led us to choose this manufacturer as the automotive theme this year”, explains Richard TOTEE.
Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans has 9 victories in the general classification between 1949 and 1965, which is the third best record of success in this event, after Porsche and Audi, brands that have won 19 and 13 times respectively.
“The choice of Ferrari as the main theme will be accompanied by a tribute that we wanted to pay in what promises to be an exceptional year,” commented Richard. The tribute in question is to Chenard et Walcker, the French brand that won the very first edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Endurance Grand Prix in 1923. “Although this manufacturer has disappeared, there is still an Association of Friends of Chenard & Walcker! We have come closer to it: the brand will not be forgotten through our organisation and the exhibition of at least one collector’s model, which seemed essential to us”.
If Ferrari will be the automotive theme of the Classic British Welcome, the 2023 sponsor of this event will be Gérard Larrousse! A nod to history: 1973 was the year of Ferrari’s last official participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Italian manufacturer was beaten by Matra, with the famous Henri Pescarolo / Gérard Larrousse duo! “We are honored to have Gérard Larrousse as our godfather, 50 years after his first victory at Le Mans “ underlines Richard TOTEE, while recalling that “Gérard Larrousse is also the President of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Drivers’ Club!”.
Gérard Larrousse took the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 8 times, won the race twice as a driver, in 1973 and 1974 with Matra and Henri Pescarolo, then once as the boss of Renault Sport, in 1978.
The French manufacturer moved to Formula 1 the following year, and it was still under the direction of Gérard Larousse that Renault imposed its turbo engine for the first time, and moreover at the finish of the French Grand Prix! The driver was Jean-Pierre Jabouille, who died on February 2nd at the age of 80. Jean-Pierre Jabouille was also the sponsor of the Classic British Welcome, in 2009.
Another reason for satisfaction for the Organising Committee: the Classic British Welcome of Saint-Saturnin 2023 will be placed under the high patronage of Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile-Club de l’Ouest.