The two DeWalt Racesport Salisbury TVR Tuscan T400R's are amongst the smartest looking and most popular cars in the Le Mans field this year, their effort typifying the enthusiastic spirit around which the La Sarthe legend was born.

However just before the end of the first hour of racing at the 71st edition of the classic French enduro, the #91 TVR didn't look quite as smart as the Blackpool-based firm originally intended.

On his first lap out of the pits after the team's first scheduled fuel stop, Briton Richard Stanton found the rear end of his T400R used as a brake by one of the two French WR LMP675 prototypes as he negotiated the tricky Porsche curves, the initial impact causing the distinct yellow and black liveried machine to slam the outside concrete wall on the exit of the complex.

With the right rear suspension clearly smashed, a painful image provided by the live TV pictures that caught the crash but were unable to properly identify Stanton's assailant, the English driver faced an agonising crawl back to the pitlane in order to avoid becoming the first official retirement of 2003.

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