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Celebs who have raced at Le Mans

Celebs who have raced at Le Mans - News

It's that time of year again. June is upon us, which can only mean one thing… The greatest spectacle in motorsport is back, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Hundreds of thousands will flock to Le Sarthe in anticipation of another chapter in racing history being created, with the greatest teams and drivers in endurance racing vying for glory in the most prestigious race in the world.

Being the 90th running of the great race in 2022, it's safe to say that many great drivers have competed, including past Grand Prix champions, World Rally legends and even two-wheeled icons. But what about celebrities?

The appeal to race at Le Mans is too strong for some, and we at TrackDays.co.uk have compiled a list of some of the famous names that have raced around the clock in search of the top step of the podium.

  • Paul Newman

Coming from an era of pioneering acting heroes such as Steve McQueen and James Garner, racing enthusiast and world-renowned actor, Paul Newman, decided to swap the silver screen for racing, taking a class victory and second overall at a soaking wet Le Mans in 1979.

Still racing into his senior years, his legacy as a tenacious racer has been cemented after co-founding his own race team in his homeland of America that would go on to become one of the most successful teams in open-wheel racing.

  • Fabien Barthez

One of the more unlikely transitions from a day job to racing would be former Manchester United goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez. The 50-year-old played for some of the biggest clubs and his national team of France, winning some massive trophies including the World Cup in 1998.

And, in 2008, swapped the goalkeeper gloves for racing gloves, eventually showing up at Le Mans in 2014 after some success in continental GT racing. He would later team up with ex-F1 racer Oliver Panis to form a team that would compete in the LMP2 category of the World Endurance Championship.

  • Patrick Dempsey

When talking about “McDreamy” Patrick Dempsey, the lines begin to blur between acting and racing. The Grey's Anatomy star first arrived at Le Mans in a Ferrari F430 in 2009, but he later built a strong relationship with Porsche and in 2015, scored a famous class podium at Le Sarthe.

Continuing to be an affiliate with the famous German sports car brand, Dempsey's enthusiasm and love for motorsport knows no bounds. You can be sure he'll be moving further away from the surgical knife, and closer to the smell of race fuel in the near future.

  • Nick Mason

In terms of musical acts that have graced the circuit at Le Mans, it doesn't get much bigger than Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason. Competing at the same race as Paul Newman for the first time in 1979, also finishing second in class.

Returning a further four times, Mason would also juggle his high-flying music career with his racing duties, appearing and racing at many major events and television shows in the UK such as the Goodwood Revival and Top Gear in his later years, and still to this day.

Do you know any other celebrity racers? Let us know what you think, and be sure to visit our Radical Driving Experiences page for the authentic Le Mans style thrill from available dates on our Radical Calendar or purchase of our open Gift Vouchers.

29 June 2022
Trackdays

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