The race began on Saturday, 15 June, at the Circuit de la Sarthe for 24 hours of racing. None other than Zinedine Zidane, Alpine brand ambassador and patron of its equal opportunities’ programmes, let loose the impressive 62-car field, with 23 in the Hypercar category. With Alpine's return to the premier category, the team's ambition is to continue its learning into the discipline and finish the crown jewel round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.



Alongside Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO, and Philippe Krief, Alpine CEO, Zinedine Zidane gave his support to the two Alpine crews and their drivers Mick Schumacher, Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere, Charles Milesi, Ferdinand Habsburg and Paul-Loup Chatin.



"Starting the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a great honour; it's a legendary race. It was also important for me to come and support the drivers. They have to hold on for 24 hours! I've always been impressed to see drivers driving for so long at such a high-performance level - that's the magic of endurance racing..." Zinedine Zidane, brand ambassador and patron of Alpine's equal opportunities programmes.



Zinedine Zidane discovers sportiness reinvented by Alpine



In this pinnacle of motor racing, Zinedine Zidane experienced the revival of sportiness in the age of new propulsion. The French icon enjoyed a sneak preview of the future of sports cars aboard the Alpenglow Hy4, a hydrogen-powered rolling prototype based on a combination of environmental innovation and performance, to get a glimpse of the future of sports cars.



Alpine also unveiled its new A290 hot hatch, the first model of its 100% electric Dream Garage, on Thursday, 13 June.



"Climbing aboard the Alpenglow Hy4 is like stepping into the future - I loved the experience! Its design is unlike any other car, and you really feel like you are one with it”, Zinedine Zidane, brand ambassador and patron of Alpine's equal opportunities programmes.



Rare encounters with the Alpine talent pool



Since February 2023, Zinedine Zidane has been associated with Alpine as a sponsor of its equal opportunities programmes, which promote inclusion in the car industry and motorsport. By sharing his experience, he continues to inspire the younger generation of talent so that everyone, whatever their gender, origin or background, has the means to develop professionally and become a champion.



Launched in 2022 by the brand, the Rac(H)er programme encourages the inclusion of women in Alpine teams, from technical functions to motorsport.



C’est en tant qu’ambassadeur de ces programmes que Zinedine Zidane a rencontré pendant le week-end des 24 Heures du Mans Sophia Floersch, membre de l’Académie Alpine et retrouvé Lisa Billard, jeune talent du programme Rac(H)er de l’écurie. Il a pu partager avec elles son expérience de légende du sport et leur donner quelques conseils.



"Sport is everything to me, and I still enjoy meeting other passionate athletes who give their all to their sport. Sophia and Lisa set no limits for themselves. These young women decided to become racers despite all the obstacles they faced. Sophia's career path commands respect. I loved talking to them and listening to them share their experiences”, Zinedine Zidane, brand ambassador and patron of Alpine's equal opportunities programmes.



During the weekend, Zinedine Zidane also met and congratulated Mathis Pellerin and Gabin Thimouy, the two young winners of the 2024 edition of the Concours Excellence Mécanique Alpine, the final of which was held on 31 May and 1 June in Viry-Châtillon, after several months of competition. The aim of the competition is to raise the profile of the mechanical engineering sector. It gives young mechanical engineering students from all over France the opportunity to promote their skills and know-how.



"It was brilliant to see Mathis and Gabin experience the 24 Hours Circuit with Alpine. For me, it was important to meet them... You have no idea how difficult it is! They're so proud to have won the competition and now to meet the drivers and see where their motivation and hard work can lead. It was quite special", Zinedine Zidane, brand ambassador and patron of Alpine's equal opportunities programmes.



“To see Zinedine Zidane at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, supporting the team and watching the race is a great source of pride for Alpine and its drivers. It's a real symbol! This year represents Alpine's return to Hypercar racing, at a time when the FIA World Endurance Championship is becoming increasingly popular”, Philippe Sinault, Team Principal Alpine Endurance Team.



"Alpine is having an intense week at Le Mans with the world presentation of the A290 and the brand's return to Hypercar racing with the A424. Having Zinedine Zidane, Alpine ambassador and sponsor of our equal opportunities’ programmes, by our side has made this moment even more exceptional. We are immensely pleased to have had him with us”, Philippe Krief, CEO Alpine.