With thousands of spectators packing the grandstands, the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans got underway at 16:00 under sunny skies.
The competitors began to line up on the Pit Straight at 13:15 after two Le Mans legends, Gérard Larrousse and Henri Pescarolo, had taken to the track in two Matras to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the French marque’s first win in the iconic race.
Several celebrities including Squeezie, the French YouTuber with 16 million subscribers, and recently retired tennis ace Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, were among the crowd milling around the 62 cars.
H24, the electric-hydrogen racing prototype developed by H24Racing, then completed a lap of honour. Stéphane Richelmi was at the wheel of the car that took part in two rounds of Road To Le Mans (on Thursday evening and Saturday morning).
A few minutes before the start, the Patrouille de France air display team soared over the racetrack to the great delight of the crowd. The flyover signalled the start of the formation lap for 62 drivers and their machines which will be running with a 100% renewable fuel for the first time in the history of the classic endurance race. Gérard Larrousse, this year’s Grand Marshal, led the cars through the final moments of the pre-race ceremony.
At 16:00, the 24-hour rollercoaster of thrills and emotion was set in motion!
The ACO Sustainable Endurance Award presented by DHL goes to Ferrari AF Corse!
Several criteria were considered in choosing the winner. Ferrari AF Corse is developing a global approach that is fully consistent with the ACO’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and its three-fold commitment (EngageMans) for the planet, for a responsible economy and for everyone. The Italian outfit has also embarked on the process of obtaining ISO 20121 certification, the sustainable events standard.