Month: May 2020

What caused the 1955 Le Mans crash?

The 1955 crash at Le Mans was one of the most horrific accidents in motorsports history. Keep in mind when you are watching the 24 hours of Le Mans live stream that the crash at Le Mans was fatal and motorsports were banned in several countries as soon as the crash occurred.

On June 11th, 1955, at the 24 hours of Le Mans, something very scary happened. A Major crash caused large pieces of debris to fly into the crowd. This killed 83 spectators and also a French driver named Pierre Levegh. This crash also injured almost 180 more spectators.

This crash occurred when the Jaguar driver Mike Hawthorn pulled to the right side of the track in front of the driver who piloted the Austin-Healey. The Jag started to brake for the pit stop. Lance Macklin was the driver and he swerved out from behind the Jaguar into the path of Pierre Levegh. Pierre was going much faster than Macklin.

When Macklin passed on his left, the Mercedes that he passed rear-ended him. This caused the Mercedes Benz to be launched into the air and making tow impacts within the spectator grandstand areas. The last impact that it made caused a huge explosion and threw Pierre onto the track where he died instantly.

There was a lot of debate and blame about who caused this dreadful and horrific crash to happen. The official inquiry held that none of the drivers were specifically responsible for this crash. The layout of the track was criticized and redesigned for the speed of these cars.

A lot of lives were definitely changed on this sad and tragic day. This caused many different new safety standards to be set into place immediately following this crash. Please keep in mind that this is an exciting sport, but also very dangerous too.