Hollywood star and big-screen superhero from the recent Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, Chris Hemsworth, will serve as the honorary starter of the 102nd running of the Indy 500, which will take place on Sunday, May 27.
Hemsworth will stand atop the famous yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he will wave the green flag and kick off the legendary 500-mile race for 33 racing car drivers who will duel it out for a taste of the winner’s milk. Of course, they must first endure 200 arduous laps around the 2.5-mile banked oval.
The Australia native isn’t a newbie in the world of motor racing, especially as his home city of Melbourne has served as the Formula 1 season-opening venue since 1996. Furthermore, Hemsworth has been involved in several racing-related projects that have brought him closer to the on-track action. In fact, it’s one of those projects that aided the Australian’s participation at the 500, as he’s a Tag Heuer ambassador, a marque of Swiss timepieces that holds close ties with motorsports and is the official timepiece of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“I am very excited for the Indy 500 this year,” Hemsworth said. “As a TAG Heuer ambassador and motorsport fan, it’s an incredible honor to wave the green flag. It is going to be an exciting moment, and I am happy to be here with TAG Heuer.”
In 2013, Hemsworth took a leading role in the , where he portrayed the role of popular Formula 1 world champion and playboy James Hunt, who fought Ferrari’s Niki Lauda for the F1 title in 1976. The role allowed Hemsworth to visit several racetracks and even get behind the wheel of period-correct, and oftentimes extremely expensive race cars.
“The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest race in the world and the largest single-day sporting event on the planet, so it’s fitting we will have a globally recognized and applauded figure in the flag stand,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Chris is a true sporting fan who is going to embrace the IMS experience and enjoy seeing 33 cars race down the front stretch at our iconic facility.”
Stay tuned for more boots-on-the-ground coverage from The Drive as we approach the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, which will take place on Memorial Day Weekend, May 27.