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CoronavirusEuropean RoyalsMonaco

Princess Charlene to participate in virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans race


UN PHOTO / VIOLAINE MARTIN

Princess Charlene of Monaco will take part in next month’s virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, a first for the iconic French car race.

The virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will take place on 13 and 14 June, will feature a line-up of professional and simulation drivers participating in a virtual race due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Princess Charlene was invited to participate in this year’s race for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and will enter a Ferrari under the Strong Together banner. The car will be crewed by Francesco Castellacci, Felipe Massa, Giancarlo Fisichella and Tony Mella.

“Being starter of the 87th 24 Hours of Le Mans was an unforgettable moment, and I am grateful to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for offering me the opportunity to experience it,” Princess Charlene said in a statement on her foundation’s website.

“This year we forge more ties between Monaco and Le Mans, both well-known for motorsport, with the #54 Strong Together team that will be racing under the banner of my foundation and the flag of the principality.”

The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation was formed in 2012 to support her work with water safety, drowning prevention and teaching children to swim safely. The Strong Together banner was created by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, as “the foundation is equally involved in communicating the values of sport such as discipline, respect for oneself and for others, determination and teamwork.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest active car race, started in 1923. This year’s race has been postponed due to COVID-19 and is slated to take place this September, should restrictions be lifted in France.

“I am particularly proud to receive this support from Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco,” said Pierre Fillon, Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s President, in a statement.

“It is an acknowledgement of the importance of this race and the values that we defend. Le Mans and Monaco have much in common where motorsport is concerned. Strong Together is a forceful team with crew members Francesco Castellacci, Felipe Massa, Giancarlo Fisichella and Tony Mella. GTE is always a hotly disputed category and there is no reason to expect that to change in a virtual race.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.