The following Q&A has been released on behalf of Gérard Neveu following this morning’s announcement that he is stepping down as CEO of LMEM, the body which promotes and runs the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series, a post he has held since 2011.
Why have you decided to leave at this time?
In fact, I have been thinking about this for quite a long time but I just think that the time is now right.
Our championships are in a strong position, despite COVID, with the new Hypercar category in WEC opening an exciting new era for the world championship and really encouraging loyalty from teams and drivers in the ELMS and the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
The last few years have not always been easy in motorsport, with the withdrawal of Audi then Porsche from the top category, and this year with the health situation and this, of course, has meant that we have had to work non-stop with the ACO to find solutions. It has been satisfying for all of us to see how we have bounced back from these difficulties to where we are today.
However, to find these solutions has meant a huge amount of time away from my family and my home and I now would like to find a role which allows me to address that. As we all know, life can be short and our families and loved ones must be our number one priority.
You have not always seen eye-to-eye with the ACO, were you forced out by them?
Not at all. This decision has been taken in total agreement with Pierre Fillon. We agreed together that it was the right time to do it.
Of course, there have been times over the last 9 years when we have not always agreed on matters, but that’s completely normal…that you sometimes do not share the same opinions as those closest to you.
What is important is that we have always found a solution together for the benefit of endurance racing, for the benefit of the championships we manage and for the benefit of the competitors.
Do you already have another job to go to?
Not yet! I will take some time to spend with my family and to think about what new challenges I want to undertake and then start to explore what opportunities there are.
Will you continue in motorsport?
Who knows? If the right opportunity is put in front of me, maybe? It is a big wide world out there and I have many different interests so we will all have to wait and see what, if anything, comes up.
What are the best memories you will take with you?
There are, of course, many great memories from these past 9 years but I think there are two things which are close to my heart.
One is the relationships formed with the fantastic Endurance family including competitors, circuits, suppliers, local promoters, officials, medias and associates we have had over these years in all the LMEM championships. They all put their trust in me and the LMEM team and we have always tried to deliver world-class events for them. That gives me great personal satisfaction.
The best memory will be the many exciting human adventures and experiences shared with the whole LMEM team. It’s been a very great privilege and immense pleasure to have led them over these years and this will stay with me forever.
I have also been proud to have met some exceptional people all around the world that I know I will continue to stay in contact with for the future. They know who they are and how we share the same passion.