Princess Charlene of Monaco starts the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in Franc

Princess Charlene of Monaco got motors running at the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans race. 

The princess waved the French tricolore to signal the start of the gruelling endurance race on Saturday, which is held every year at the Circuit de la Sarthe raceway in north-west France

She arrived at the race and met with two-time winner of the race Jean Todt, before also getting her own personal look inside one of the cars. 

The 24 Hours of Le Mans race was started by Princess Charlene of Monaco as she waved the French tricolore to get it underway

The 24 Hours of Le Mans race was started by Princess Charlene of Monaco as she waved the French tricolore to get it underway

The 24 Hours of Le Mans race was started by Princess Charlene of Monaco as she waved the French tricolore to get it underway

The princess gets fitted with a Porsche helmet before the race by an official at the Circuit de la Sarthe raceway in North West France

The princess gets fitted with a Porsche helmet before the race by an official at the Circuit de la Sarthe raceway in North West France

The princess gets fitted with a Porsche helmet before the race by an official at the Circuit de la Sarthe raceway in North West France 

The 41-year-old princess was snapped today inside a Porsche trying on a helmet from one of the drivers before she went on a personal lap of the course

The 41-year-old princess was snapped today inside a Porsche trying on a helmet from one of the drivers before she went on a personal lap of the course

The 41-year-old princess was snapped today inside a Porsche trying on a helmet from one of the drivers before she went on a personal lap of the course

The princess was an Olympic Swimmer at the 2000 games for South Africa and wed Prince Albert II in 2011 after a five-year relationship

The princess was an Olympic Swimmer at the 2000 games for South Africa and wed Prince Albert II in 2011 after a five-year relationship

She competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the 4x100 freestyle relay

She competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the 4x100 freestyle relay

The princess was an Olympic Swimmer at the 2000 games for South Africa and wed Prince Albert II in 2011 after a five-year relationship 

The 41-year-old was snapped inside a Porsche trying on a helmet from one of the drivers.

She also got to go for a personal lap of the course with driver Francsco Castellacci.     

When it came time for the race to start, she stood at the podium and waved a French flag to get the race underway. 

The bookmakers’ favourite to win the race this year is reigning champion, and former Formula One champion, Fernando Alonso.  

The race, which lasts for a full 24 hours, was first ran in 1923. 

Princess Charlene takes a stroll with two-time winner of the race Jean Todt, 73, who won the race in 1992 and in 1993

Princess Charlene takes a stroll with two-time winner of the race Jean Todt, 73, who won the race in 1992 and in 1993

Princess Charlene takes a stroll with two-time winner of the race Jean Todt, 73, who won the race in 1992 and in 1993

Princess Charlene was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to South Africa with her parents as a child

Princess Charlene was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to South Africa with her parents as a child

The Princess donned a leather jacket and black jeans at the event

The Princess donned a leather jacket and black jeans at the event

Princess Charlene was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to South Africa with her parents as a child

Mr Todt and Princess Charlene await the start of the race trackside surrounded by officials and crew members

Mr Todt and Princess Charlene await the start of the race trackside surrounded by officials and crew members

Mr Todt and Princess Charlene await the start of the race trackside surrounded by officials and crew members 

The 41-year-old walks beside driver Francesco Castellacci after she completed a lap of the Le Mans circuit today

The 41-year-old walks beside driver Francesco Castellacci after she completed a lap of the Le Mans circuit today

The 41-year-old walks beside driver Francesco Castellacci after she completed a lap of the Le Mans circuit today

Princess Charlene was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to South Africa with her parents as a child. 

She represented South Africa in the swimming pool at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, competing in the 4×100 metres freestyle. 

She married Prince Albert II in 2011 after a five-year relationship.

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