For the second time in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours, one of Audi's new R18 cars has been forced to retire after a massive accident involving a GTE class Ferrari.

Approaching 11pm local time, Mike Rockenfeller had just moved into second place overall at the wheel of the #1 car when a GTE Ferrari - believed to be the #71 driven by Robert Kaufmann - moved across on the Audi on the high-speed kink leading to Indianapolis.

The resulting contact saw Rockenfeller tipped into a spin that saw the Audi impact the barrier at high speed on the left-hand side of the circuit before the car rebounded across the circuit and smashed into the barrier on the right.

Such was the extent of the damage that it wasn't immediately apparent which car had been involved before the reaction of the Audi crew told its own story.

According to Audi Motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich, Rockenfeller was able to climb from the car and get over the barrier on the side of the circuit before medical crews arrived.

Rockenfeller has now been taken away by ambulance from the scene of the accident.

Further updates to follow in due course.