The rolling start, given by means of lights, is the regular procedure of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
At least 30 minutes before the start of the formation lap, the cars will leave their pits to cover one or more reconnaissance laps. After the closing of the pit lane exit, any car that is still in the pits will start the race from the pit lane exit. At the end of the reconnaissance lap(s), the cars must take up their place on the starting grid, the drivers remaining under the marshals' authority.
When a car is on the starting grid with its wheels fitted, it is strictly prohibited to start the car's engine if nobody is behind the steering wheel. It is strictly prohibited to start the engine of a car during the national anthems, under pain of a fine of €1000 per infringement.
Access to the grid closes 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the start of the formation lap. After the "5-minute" board is shown, any unoccupied places on the grid shall remain vacant.
Cars must start the race from the starting grid. The exception (starting from the pit lane or from the pit) to this principle must be expressly authorised by the Panel of Stewards. Any car not starting from the starting grid, and any car that does not cross the start line on track at the end of the formation lap cannot join the race until the last car in the field has covered its first lap.
The approach of the start is announced by boards reading "5 minutes", "3 minutes", "1 minute" and "30 sec." with an audible warning.
"5 minutes”: start of the countdown: drivers on board, no further work allowed on the cars except for tyre changes.
"3 minutes": Tyre changes are forbidden, everyone except the drivers, team members and officials must leave the grid. However, one member of the team may remain in place.
"1 minute": cars’ doors must be closed, and team personnel must leave the grid. Engines to be started by the drivers without external assistance.
"30 seconds": 30 seconds remaining before the formation lap.
Green flag: start of the formation lap behind the Leading Car. The cars must maintain their grid positions.
If conditions so require, the Race Director may ask the Leading Car to cover one or more additional formation laps. In that case, the start of the race, for the sole purpose of race distance, is considered as having been given at the end of the first formation lap.
If for an unforeseen reason or because the amount of water on track makes it unsafe to start, the Race Director will delay the start by presenting a "start delayed" board. As soon as the Race Director considers the conditions are safe and a start can take place, information will be displayed on the timing monitors, with the new time of the start of the formation lap. This information will always be displayed at least 10 minutes before the start of the formation lap.
Race start behind the Safety car
In exceptional circumstances, the race may be started behind the Safety Car. In this case, at any time before the one-minute signal, its orange lights will be turned on. This is the signal to the drivers that the race will be started behind the Safety Car. When the green lights are illuminated, the Safety Car will leave the grid with all cars following in grid order no more than 5 car lengths apart. There will be no formation lap and the race will start when the green lights are on.