And they’re off! 2024 official starter Zinedine Zidane has given the order for the 62 cars to commence 24 hours of racing, getting the 92nd 24 Hours of Le Mans, fourth round of the FIA WEC, underway. Now to wait until 16:00 tomorrow to discover the winner of what promises to be an exceptional race.

There was plenty happening on and off the track today before the cars lined up on the grid. More than 300,000 people have flocked to Le Mans, the motoring capital of the world this weekend. A host of French celebrities were spotted meandering along the grid, soaking up the inimitable atmosphere, with fans recognising Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Gad Elmaleh, Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitz.

The competitors started to form the grid on the starting line at 13:30, moments after a French Navy Rafale flypast thrilled the throngs of spectators. As the tension mounted, all eyes turned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans Trophy as it was presented on the starting grid. As is tradition, the outgoing winners, Ferrari, returned the trophy to be put back in the game.

A technological testing ground for over 100 years, the 24 Hours of Le Mans gives manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their progress for sustainable mobility, with hydrogen front and centre. We got to see the Mission H24 prototype, Solution F’s Foenix H2, the Ligier JS2 RH2 and the Alpine Alpenglow Hy4 as they went out for a lap. Zero-emission cars will get a shot at victory in 2028 when a new hydrogen class is introduced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The pressure continued to build for the 186 drivers as the minutes ticked by. Shortly before the start of the race, the Patrouille de France performed the traditional flypast, an emotionally charged moment marking the start of the formation lap led by this year’s Grand Marshal, Kazuki Nakajima.

Cars in all classes – Hypercar, LMP2 and LMGT3 – are running on the fully renewable Excellium Racing 100 fuel specially developed by TotalEnergies, multi-energy partner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With seconds to go, the cars slowly approached the start line. Anticipation gave way to action as the world’s greatest endurance race finally got underway. In 24 hours, we’ll know the outcome in what is set to be a thrillingly unpredictable race.