Ford CEO Jim Farley steered the automaker toward an electric future, but he still enjoys driving his cars the old-fashioned way.
Farley is an avid collector of vintage racers which he regularly enters into historic events.
Vehicles included Shelby Cobras, a Ford-powered 1978 Lola T298 and a 200mph Ford GT40 like the one Ford beat Ferrari with at Le Mans in the 1960s.
Farley has brought the GT40 to the annual Le Mans Classic event since 2018, and his perseverance paid off with a second-place finish on the 4th of July weekend.
He tweeted after the event: “A dream come true. A podium at LeMans Classic in a GT40. Three hours of flat out racing against some of the best drivers I know. What a great team!”
Farley participated in three 45-minute elimination races and his average result ranked him second in the GT40 class.
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He will take extra pride in getting the car back in shape. It had been converted to a road car in 1971, but Farley restored it to its original racing form, including changing its metallic red paint to dark Ford blue with white Wimbledon stripes.
“Simple things like seat height, my position in the car, how the pedals work, because I want to win and I want to do well as an American here,” he told Petrolicious in 2016.
Despite the risks taken by the CEO of the number 22 company on the Fortune 500 list, Farley has the approval of Ford Chairman Bill Ford to continue his racing exploits.
“I’ve been very upfront with Bill about my race, and he’s been so supportive of me,” Farley told Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty shortly after becoming Ford CEO.
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“He plays competitive ice hockey, and he said, ‘No, no, you have to keep running, that’s your yoga, and it’s good for you to stay connected with the product like that. “”
Nor was Farley’s arrival at Le Mans his first success. He won a class in 2020 and 2021 at Sportscar Vintage Racing Association events in Atlanta and Sebring in the Lola.