If you know anything about Ford’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Farley, outside of his role with the company is that he is an avid racer. In the car business, there is an ebb and flow between the car people and the bean counters, and right now the Blue Oval is directed by a complete car guy who happens to race as often as he can.
“It was totally indirect but I think I’m addicted now. With my position, the racing is now more important. It’s a way for me to completely detach from all the problems, anything with work,” Farley told the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year. “For those 20 minutes in the car, it’s all gone. You can’t think about anything else but the driving.”
When he did a stint at Ford in Europe he used to run around the Nurburgring in a Focus RS on his lunch break. Recently he went back across the pond to score some seat time in the latest SuperVan and while he was over there he competed in the Le Mans Classic over the July 4th weekend where he and his team put his 1965 GT40 on the podium in second place.
“A dream come true,” he Tweeted after his best finish yet in this race. “A podium finish at LeMans Classic in a GT40. Three hours of flat-out racing against some of the best drivers I know. What a great team!”
Driving one of the final four GT40s constructed in competition decades later must be quite a thrill — and a challenge — but it’s certainly great to see Ford’s CEO out there enjoying cars and competition. There may not be a direct correlation between these feats and the cars Ford creates, but it certainly can’t hurt.