Tuesday, July 17, 2018

the disaster that was the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans is being animated into a 15-minute animated short : Le Mans 1955

The race, for those unfamiliar, was marred by a crash between an Austin-Healey, a Jaguar, and a Mercedes 300 SLR. After Mike Hawthorn cut his Jaguar in front of Lance Macklin’s Austin-Healey, Macklin swerved into the path of Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes. The crash not only claimed Levegh’s life, but those of 83 spectactors. Several countries – including France, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany – banned racing in the aftermath, and Mercedes withdrew from motorsports altogether. Mercedes wouldn’t return to racing until 1989, and Switzerland only recently began relaxing its ban on motorsports.


1 comment:

  1. Mercedes didn't return to Formula 1 until 2010. The story of John Fitch begging the Mercedes team principle to stop the rest of team from continuing the race is quite gut wrenching. Especially as Sterling Moss was furious at the decision. Mike Hawthorne comported himself badly in the aftermath, first apologizing to his friend Macklin that it was all his fault, but later changed his tune and implicated Macklin causing Macklin to sue for slander. Hawthorne's smile after winning LeMans despite the horrific cost is doubtless the hallmark of his character. The real culprit was the mixing and mis-matching of cars, high speed prototypes and slower sports coupes, drum brakes on the wildly innovative Mercedes and disc brakes on the Jag, Healey's and Triumph's getting in the way of this titanic battle between the greatest drivers who ever lived. Something was bound to happen.