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2014-06-14 18:23

LONG WAY TO GO: German driver Andre Lotterer in his Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro Hybrid after the start of the 82nd Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race on June 14, 2014 with his and 55 cars and 168 drivers on track. Image: AFP

LE MANS, France - The Le Mans 24 Hours, the most celebrated endurace race on the calendar, got under way on Saturday (June 14 2014) under sunny skies and with 54 cars on the grid.

This the 82nd version of the legendary race over a road circuit in western France, was sent on its way by former Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso.

The field was led from the front by the Toyota TS040 hybrid car driven by a team headed by Alexander Wurz of Germany ahead of the Porsche 919 hybrid of Switzerland's Neel Jani.


On the second row of the grid was a second Toyota, driven by Nicolas Lapierre of Switzerland, just ahead of a Porsche which featured another former Formula 1 ace, Mark Webber of Australia - returning to the race for the first tinme in 15 years.

Webber's previous appearace was marred by a famously spectacular accident on the Hunaudieres straight when his Mercedes literally took off.

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