Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam singles champion is set to kick-off the 11th edition of the Le Mans Classic race at the Circuit de la Sarthe on July 1, Saturday. The biennial sporting vintage sports car event has been in existence since 2002, created by Peter Auto and Richard Mille.
On this motorsport weekend, the cars, which have competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the cars of the same model, are going to take part in multiple races on the iconic track. The cars are also divided into six eras, from the year 1923 to 1981, to denote the technological changes in the motorsport, while equalising the pace in each category for optimum racing purpose.
According to the 24H Le Mans website, the former world number one tennis player will release the young drivers from the Little Big Mans race at 3:30 pm local time. Then, half an hour later, he is going to wave the tricolour flag to give the official Le Mans-style start to grid 1. Notably, just five years ago, Rafael Nadal also had the honour to kick-off the Le Mans Classic event from the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Meanwhile, the centenary running of the Le Mans 24 Hours race, held on June 10 and 11, was won by Ferrari after making their triumphant return to the sport in 50 years. The #51 Ferrari car, driven by Antonio Giovinazzi, James Calado, and Alessandro Pier Guidi, were victorious by a massive margin of three minutes, after facing lots of pitfalls during the race weekend.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal missed the French Open after undergoing successful surgery on his hip. The 14-time Roland Garros champion is expected to have a lengthy rehabilitation program, which might rule him out of the current tennis season.
The tweet from the 37-year-old regarding the surgery read, “Hello everyone. As you know last night I had surgery. Everything went well and the arthroscopy was on the left psoas tendon that has kept me out of competition since January.”