Tuesday, May 17, for the first time, a 24 Hours of Le Mans race car from Greensboro was unveiled.
Roy Carroll, founder and president of The Carroll Companies and publisher of this publication, unveiled the Ferrari 488 GTE Pro Envo that he has entered in the oldest and most prestigious endurance race in the world – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Carroll has teamed with Riley Motorsports, headed by Bill Riley, for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The race car is sponsored by Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar, one of The Carroll Companies.
Carroll drives a Ferrari in an amateur racing series, but he won’t be driving at Le Mans. At the unveiling, Riley said a team of three drivers – Shane Van Gisbergen, Sam Bird and Filipe Fraga – would handling the Bee Safe Racing car at Le Mans. Riley explained that each driver would drive about two and a half hours and then get five hours off before getting behind the wheel again.
Unlike NASCAR racing, where the first car who completes a set distance wins, at Le Mans the car that travels the longest distance in the 24 hours wins, so it is a test of speed as well as endurance.
The unveiling was held before several hundred people at the former Macy’s store on Hornaday Road, which is now owned by The Carroll Companies.
At the unveiling Carroll said, “This is the first Le Mans car that I’m aware of that’s from the Piedmont Triad, Guilford County, Greensboro.”
On Wednesday, May 18, the Bee Safe Racing Le Mans Ferrari was taken to Watkins Glenn International race track in New York for testing and for the drivers to become familiar with the car. It will then go back to Ferrari in Italy before being taken to France for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Le Mans 24 Hours will be held June 11 and 12. Originally, Carroll planned to have the race broadcast at First National Bank Field in downtown Greensboro, but reportedly there have been issues with video rights, so that may not be possible.