Le Mans (France), June 16 (IANS) Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal on Saturday kicked off the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the world’s oldest sports car races, in which his compatriot Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso is to compete.
Fresh off winning his record 11th French Open title, Nadal was handed the French flag by a military unit that arrived via helicopter, reports Efe.
Before flagging the 60 cars to start racing, Nadal did a pre-lap of the 13,626-meter La Sarthe circuit in a car driven by Austria’s Alex Wurz.
Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers Kazuki Nakajima of Japan and Sebastien Buemi of Switzerland led the race after three laps.
Alonso is expected to be behind the wheel for Toyota starting in the evening.