Lord of Le Mans: Jacky Ickx

“As a racing driver, speed has been an integral part of my life ever since I started racing motorcycles at a very young age,” explains Jacky Ickx—one of the great gentlemen of motor racing—and he has six wins at Le Mans to prove it. However, he is just as famous for walking slowly as he is for driving swiftly. “I strolled to my Ford GT40 on the starting grid of Le Mans in 1969. I had decided to show my disagreement with regulations in order to improve safety for drivers.” Instead of sprinting across the track and jumping into his car in a traditional Le Mans start, he took his time, and made sure he was strapped in safely before setting off. It was his first Le Mans and he started last, but still managed to win the famous 24-hour race. In all, he carried off six Le Mans titles, three of them driving with Derek Bell, another great gentleman of the sport—if there were ever a gentleman-off between these two racing greats, it would be a dead heat. These days Ickx spends most of his time in Monaco, where Vanity Fair On Time caught up with him. Occasionally, he returns to the track, and motorsport aficionados were delighted to welcome him back to Le Mans this summer: not to drive, but to launch Chopard’s Superfast Power Control Porsche 919 HF Edition, for his friend and Mille Miglia co-driver Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.—Nicholas Foulkes

Photographed by Patrick Wack at Automobile Club de Monaco on July 11, 2017, wearing a Chopard Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition

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