DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – British sports car legend and racing commentator David Hobbs will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26 at Daytona Int’l Speedway – the debut event for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), will serve as honorary starter and wave the starter’s flag for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. In 2012, Fillon was named the eighth president of the ACO, which created the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1923 and will celebrate its 82nd edition in 2014. The ACO is also the organizer and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship and created the American Le Mans Series with ACO partner Don Panoz, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series.
Earlier this year, Fillon invited Jim France, Chairman of International Speedway Corporation, to serve as Honorary Starter for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
“David Hobbs’ starting command and the waving of the starter’s flag by Pierre Fillon will kick off a new era in North American sports car racing,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “The anticipation for the upcoming Rolex 24 is at an all-time high and we’re looking forward to kicking off the new season with a historic event.”
Hobbs, a versatile driver who competed in many forms of motorsport including sports cars, NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One, will deliver the starting command “Drivers, start your engines” as Grand Marshal. He joins other racing legends such as Hurley Haywood, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Vic Elford and Brian Redman in serving as Grand Marshal for the prestigious twice-around-the-clock challenge race.
Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2009, Hobbs has competed in many of the world’s biggest races including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.
In the Rolex 24, Hobbs made 11 starts and participated in the inaugural Daytona Continental in 1962 driving a Jaguar. He posted a career-best finish of third in the race in 1971 co-driving a Ferrari with Mark Donohue and in 1984 co-driving with Bob Tullius and Doc Bundy.
Hobbs currently serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of Formula One. He also appeared in the movie Cars 2 as announcer “David Hobbscap,” a 1963 Jaguar from Hobbs’ actual hometown of Royal Leamington Spa, England.