This year when you are watching the Le Mans live stream, you may be reflecting on the worst crash in motorsports. That’s right, in 1955, there was the deadliest crash in all of motorsports.
On June 12, 1955, the deadliest crash ever in all of motorsports happened. It took place in Le Mans, France. The 24 hours of Le Mans race has been going on every June since 1923. It begins on a Saturday and ends 24 hours later on the following Sunday. Drivers drive the 12-kilometer course and whoever drives the most distances in those 24 hours is crowned the winner.
In 1955, Pierre Levegh was driving the Mercedes Benz car for his team. Two hours after the race began, the Mercedes clipped the rear of the Astin-Healey car. It was driven by Lance Macklin. Levegh was driving 150 miles per hour.
The Mercedes went flying through the air and when it landed, it was in the grandstand. Car parts were flying into the crowd and exploded. This explosion caused a huge fire. Levegh and 83 others were killed in this crash.
There were over 100 people who were injured as well. The race resumed and was won by a Jaguar that was driven by Mike Hawthorn. It was rumored that Hawthorn may have assisted in the crash but was proven later on to be innocent of that.
The Mercedes team withdrew from the race. After this crash happened, motorsports were banned in France, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland.
When you look at some of the photos from this crash, there are people fleeing the grandstand with terror and fear. The race began with sixty cars starting. By the time this race was finished, only a total of 21 cars finished.
When you are watching the race this year, think about this crash and it will make you realize how dangerous this race truly is.