Nicolas Lapierre and Sam Bird say are uncertain as to why events unfolded as they did in their crash with Marco Bonanomi during the early stages of a rainy Le Mans 24 Hours.

The trio were involved in a spectacular collision in the second hour of the race after a sudden downpour caught the drivers unawares as they exited Tetre Rouge, Bonanomi seeming to slow in the conditions, with the unsighted Bird striking the back of his Audi.

At the same time, Lapierre spun in avoidance and contacted the barrier, leaving all three stranded on the circuit. With Bonanomi's #3 Audi and Bird's #81 Ferrari out on the spot, Lapierre managed to get going again to crawl to the pit lane for repairs, only to lose eight laps.

Ruling the #8 Toyota out of victory contention, Lapierre remains confused as to why he lost control of his TS040 Hybrid, but suggests 'a GT car took everybody out'

"I came on to the back straight before the Michelin chicane," said Lapierre, who fought his way back up to finish in third place with Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson.

"There was very heavy rain and then I saw some cars very slow, none had a rain light on. They were very slow and I tried to brake. I'm not sure if the GT car hit me first or not.

"I don't know really what happened. Then I went against the wall on the right side and a GT car took everyone out. That's all I can remember from the crash. Honestly there was nothing I could see and nothing I could do."

Bird, meanwhile, took to Twitter to express his disappointment and claim he was also uncertain how the crash happened.

Bonanomi, meanwhile, was gutted to retire so early having been running as the top Audi at the time in a race that would see the German marque finish 1-2.