Wednesday, 11 June 2014

On this day...

On June 11, 1955, more than 80 people were killed and more than 100 were injured after Pierre Levegh and Lance Macklin collided during the 23rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race.

It was the worst accident in motor racing history. The photographer of this footage was injured but did survive the incident. Also Lance Macklin was survived. He died in 2002, aged 82.

This footage was only recently released after being hidden from the public for almost 55 years. The footage formed part of the evidence in an enquiry into the cause of the incident which absolved all drivers involved, and came to the conclusion that the track had insufficient protection for the spectators.

Mercedes voluntarily withdrew from the race 8 hours in, Jaguar declined to do the same. Mike Hawthorn won the race. Hawthorn is said to have admitted causing the incident behind closed doors though never in public.