The autograph session at the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was held today from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in pit lane. Fans flooded the area in search of autographs and photo souvenirs from their favorite drivers.
With pit lane open to the public this afternoon, there was no shortage of fans in front of the #7 and #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid garages. About a hundred people waited patiently for an autograph from one of the Japanese team's drivers, particularly Fernando Alonso. It's no surprise the two-time Formula 1 world champion is a big draw.
Roddy and Christophe have been coming to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for five years. "We don't typically come to the autograph session, but this time we came for Fernando Alonso. We waited for about 30 minutes but it was worth it. He's approachable and seemed really nice," they explained.
A few garages further down, Jenson Button - driver of SMP Racing's #11 BR Engineering BR1-AER and 2009 F1 world champion - was also giving autographs and taking selfies with fans. In the garage of the #3 Rebellion R13-Gibson, the mechanics were busy making the British engine roar.
Kevin Estre - driver of the #92 Porsche 911 RSR "Pink Pig" - was asked to sign a jar of rillettes (a local specialty)! And Mark Patterson - driver of the #25 Ligier JS P217 - took time to draw caricatures of fans!
Tomorrow, the action goes from pit lane to the track when the 60 competitors of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans take the wheel at 4:00 p.m. local time for the free practice. The first qualifying session will run from 10:00 p.m. to midnight.
PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, TUESDAY 12 JUNE 2018, AUTOGRAPH SESSION. A huge crowd in pit lane at the 24 Hours circuit for the autograph session.