Before they go into battle on the race track this weekend, competitors in the 24 Hours of Le Mans gathered together for the official photograph on the start line. This is always an enjoyable moment before the serious stuff begins!
Although there were some strict rules on where to stand (wiht the LMP1 drivers on the front row, the those from the LMGTE Pro, LMP2 and LMGTE Am classes), there was a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere as the 180 entrants in the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans came together on the Circuit’s start line for the official group photograph.
Drivers from the different teams and classes could be seen having friendly chat, for example we spotted Fernando Alonso (Toyota Gazoo Racing, LMP1) and Jean-Eric Vergne (G-Drive Racing, LMP2), or Sébastien Buemi (Toyota Gazoo Racing, LMP1) and Sam Bird (AF Corse, LMGTE Pro). Certain ‘sporting reunions’ brought back memories of some of the finest hours of Le Mans, such as the chat between Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Bernhard, holders (with Romain Dumas) of the endurance classic’s distance record. This year, they are rivals in the LMGTE Pro class, respectively with Corvette and Porsche.
After the official photograph, some drivers stepped down from the platform to continue their conversations. One of the most animated could be heard from the impressive Brazilian contingent at this year’s race, with Bruno Senna, Pipo Derani, Daniel Serra, André Negrao, Felipe Nasr and Gustavo Menezes, a Californian with Brazilian origins.
Now the official photograph has been taken, next on the drivers’ agenda is an encounter with the fans at the autograph session, held in the pitlane from 17:00-18:30.
Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, OFFICIAL DRIVERS’ PHOTOGRAPH. The rainy weather didn’t stop the 180 drivers in the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans getting together for their official photograph.