Ford is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. Running a company is of course a full-time job, but CEO Jim Farley still makes time for some extracurricular activities. However, therein lies the philosophical question. Truly race the legendary GT40 in a prestigious automotive event extracurricular for the head of the Ford Motor Company?
The event in question is the Le Mans Classic which took place last weekend. Not only did the Blue Oval boss show up in a racing suit, he also raced for three hours in multiple series and finished second in his class. As for the GT40, it’s his car and he’s raced at Le Mans before, although his performance last weekend was the best according to the race. Detroit Free Press.
Suffice it to say, Farley did turn a few rounds of parade for the camera. The video at the top of this article is from our colleagues at Motorsport.tv, featuring some action on historic French tracks. Jump to the 5.50:00 mark to see the start of Farley’s first session, complete with a classic Le Mans run. He’s driving no. 64 GT40, 1965 model positioned at the start of the field.
Given the nature of the Le Mans Classic event, the old school start of the run is ceremonial but the races are still rather intense. During this 43-minute session, there were several vehicles that came to a stop due to mechanical problems, and there was a nearly heart-stopping collision with the Ferrari 250 GTO at one point in the race. In this case, the weekend’s events also saw the Ferrari Breadvan head over the fence. So while it’s not as sophisticated as you’ll find with modern racing teams competing for the championship, it’s still a race.
To Farley’s credit, he looked calm and quick through this first session. That’s not easy to do in the old GT40, showing that he does know a thing or two about speeding. Whether you love Ford vehicles or not, it’s hard to disrespect a CEO who actually races his company’s cars on Sunday, then gets to work on Monday.