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Allan McNish escapes horror Le Mans shunt

Allan McNish has thankfully walked away from a horrific shunt early on into the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours, in which the Scot's Audi came perilously close to flying over the tyre barriers
Allan McNish has escaped apparently unhurt from a horrific accident just under an hour into the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.

After passing Franck Montagny's Peugeot 908 for third place on lap seven, a feisty-looking McNish proceeded to home in on Audi team-mates Timo Bernhard and Benoît Tréluyer. The fastest man on the track in the #3 R18 TDi, he swiftly relieved Tréluyer of second and closed to within just four tenths of leader Bernhard beginning lap 14.

Just after passing under the Dunlop Bridge, the Scot overtook his team-mate to assume the lead, but he then immediately also dived down the inside of the lapped Luxury Racing Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise, before prematurely moving over on the 458 Italia and clipping it at the rear, sending him sideways across its bows and the pair of them hurtling into the gravel trap.

McNish's Audi slammed broadside into the tyre barriers and flipped up into the air, coming perilously close to vaulting over the catch-fencing and into the marshals and photographers' enclosure just beyond. How ever it didn't was a miraculous stroke of good fortune, and had its driver still been in an open-top car as was the case with the R15 last year, the consequences would have been unthinkable.

Debris – including a wheel from the destroyed R18 – scattered into the enclosure, and it can only be hoped that no injuries were sustained.

A note on McNish's Facebook page states: 'We have been in contact with Allan – he is fine, been checked by the Audi doctors, the circuit medical centre and the hospital at Le Mans and he has been given the all-clear.'

With the tyre barriers needing to be rebuilt, the safety car is presently on-track for a sustained period, with Bernhard leading from Tréluyer and the Peugeots of Montagny, Alex Wurz and Sébastien Bourdais.

To see the video of the accident, click here



Related Pictures

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Allan McNish
Tom Kristensen/Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish - Audi Sport North America Audi R18 TDI
Tom Kristensen/Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish - Audi Sport North America Audi R18 TDI
Tom Kristensen/Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish - Audi Sport North America Audi R18 TDI
Allan McNish accident, Audi R18 TDi, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2011 [copyright: Jakob Ebrey Photography]
Allan McNish accident, Audi R18 TDi, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2011 [copyright: Jakob Ebrey Photography]
Allan McNish accident, Audi R18 TDi, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2011 [copyright: Jakob Ebrey Photography]
Allan McNish accident, Audi R18 TDi, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2011 [copyright: Jakob Ebrey Photography]
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LB Photog - Unregistered

June 11, 2011 4:00 PM

As a sports photographer I'm most concerned for the Marshals and the Photographers in the debris zone. The car was over the wall and seemed to slapped back be an unseen hand but high speed debris clearly hit several photographers who immediately fell to the ground. Lets hope their injuries are not serious.

racer - Unregistered

June 11, 2011 7:30 PM

In my opinion the Ferrari driver could have prevented the accident had he yielded to the blue flags and taken the outside line at the turn, letting the Audis through. C'mon, you're driving a GT car that is 40mph down on the LMP1s, you have the 1st and 2nd place cars behind you, you're being waved the blue flag for 200 yards... you just don't dive on the inside. He clipped the Audi on the rear left, so McNish was already ahead of him. This happens every year and it's a shame, stiffer penalties should be handed out to drivers that fail to yield to a blue flag. In endurance racing it's critical that the slower cars get out of the way of the faster ones due to the speed differential, that in some cases is 50 plus miles per hour.



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