Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and former tennis world number one Rafael Nadal will each act as race starters at the upcoming Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans respectively later this year.

Hemsworth, who played James Hunt in the 2012 film Rush, will wave the green for the 33 cars ahead of the 102nd running of the Indy 500 on May 27.

The decision to choose Hemsworth as the starter for the 2018 race stemmed from his relationship with watch-maker and official INDYCAR timepiece TAG Heuer. The actor is an ambassador of TAG Heuer along with former and current racers Ayrton Senna, Daniel Ricciardo and Alexander Rossi (who will compete in this year’s 500).

Meanwhile, ten-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will be given the opportunity to wave the Tricolour ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He joins the list of recent flag bearers in Formula 1 boss Chase Carey (who waved the drivers by last year), Brad Pitt and Fernando Alonso. Alonso will be contesting his first 24 Hour race with the Toyota LMP1 team.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of two Le Mans events in the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship ‘super season’ with the grand race starting on the June 16. The 2019 event will be the final race of the current season.

Images via Hollywood Reporter and Sky Sports

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Luke McCullough

Melbourne Based - 17 Grand Prix attendances and counting in Australia, Singapore, Canada, France, Austria and Great Britain.