Tennis great Rafael Nadal played the role of official starter on Saturday to get the 86th edition of the 24 Hours Le Mans classic endurance race underway amid light rain.
Former Formula One champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are among 180 drivers in the crews of three.
Alonso, racing for Toyota, is competing in his first Le Mans as he bids to match British driver Graham Hill's feat of completing motorsport's unofficial Triple Crown, including wins at the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500.
Hill, a two-time Formula One champion like Alonso, managed the feat when he won at Le Mans in 1972.
Button, who is racing for SMP, is also making his debut in...