The 2011 24 Hours Of Le Mans, the World’s oldest endurance race, opened with the sudden, shocking, and deadly crash of Britain’s Allan McNish’s and America’s Mike Rockenfeller. As the video shows, and Guardian UK reports explain, McNish’s Audi R18 made contact with Anthony Beltoise’s Ferrari and went speeding into the guard rails, then shattering upon impact.
Fortunately the design of the automobile was such that the central core containing McNish remained intact, and he survived. Allan got out of the car, was checked at the local hospital, then returned to the race action.
In the second crash, Rockenfeller’s #1 Audi connected with Robert Kaufmann’s AF Corse Ferrari 458 at the end of what is called the “Mulsanne straight” and into the “Mulsanne link.” As was the case with McNish’s accident, the car was so well-designed that Rockenfeller was able to get out of it without major injury.
Later, #71 Kaufmann’s AF Corse Ferrari 458, also driven by Michael Waltrip and Rui Aguas, was “retired” because of a broken differential.
To follow the 24 Hours Of Le Mans, visit the website here: http://www.lemans.org