Le Mans recalls the 65th anniversary of the great motorsport tragedyJune 12, 2020
The tragedy that occurred in Le Mans claimed the lives of 84 people and another 180 spectators were injured.
Recall that the tragedy occurred at the third hour of the famous race “24 hours of Le Mans”. In total, the main characters in the tragedy were four: Pierre Leveg, Mike Horton, Juan Manuel Fangio, Lance Macklin. The accident occurred at the end of the 35th round at the moment when the leaders had already taxied to the starting line. Leveg in the Mercedes was second after the leaders – Mike Hawthorne in his Jaguar. In front of the pit lane, Hawthorne overtook the roundabout, which was then Lance Macklin and at that moment saw a signal that called him into the boxes for refueling.
Mike at this time in order not to fly past the pitlane abruptly hit the brakes. Then everything happened in just a few seconds. To prevent a collision with Hawthorne, Maclean takes it to the left, while Levège, who was traveling parallel to Hawthorne and Maclean, had no time to maneuver. It only remained to save the life of Fangio, who was immediately behind Leveg. Realizing that the accident could not be prevented, the Frenchman raised his left hand thereby signaling the Argentine from danger. So, with a raised hand, he ran into Maclean. His car flew into the mound, and the rider flew out of the car and died.
At this time, the tank near the Mercedes Leveg exploded and pieces of burning metal fly straight into the crowd. It is known that one of the spectators who tried to escape from the fire was shot down to death on the highway. However, even after such a terrible incident, the race was not stopped. Racers drove on, as if nothing had happened.
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