24h of Le Mans History: Top 5 crashes

All these crashes are not fatal, so don’t wonder why the 1955 crash or other famous fatal crahses at Le Mans are not included.


5th: Mike Rockenfeller 24h of Le Mans 2011 (Audi R18 TDI LMP1)

Rockenfeller had contact with the Ferrari F458 Italia from Robert Kaufmann (LMGTE Am) at a speed of 307 kph.

It happend in the near of Indianapolis corner. Rockenfeller was brought to Hospital shortly after the crash. Because of this accident he cancelled the DTM race at the Lausitzring and the 24h of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Rockenfeller isn’t attempting Le Mans this year, he said he will fully concentrate on his DTM programm with Audi, he’s currently leading the championship.


4th: Anthony Davidson 24h of Le Mans 2012 (Toyota TS030 Hybrid LMP1)

As the No.1 Toyota battled with the Audi for the lead of the race, Davidson in the No.2 Toyota crashed heavily at the end of the Mulsanne straight in the 5th hour of the race.

He collided with the LMGTE Am AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia from Piergiuseppe Perazzini at high speed.

Davidson was later transferred to hospital where he was later diagnosed with fractures to the eleventh and twelfth thoracic vertebrae of his back.

He recovered from it, and competed the next WEC 2012 race at the 6h of Sau Paulo (Brazil).


3rd: Peter Dumbreck, 24h of Le Mans 1999 (Mercedes CLR LMGTP)

Peter Dumbreck was following a Toyota GT-One for the lead of the race.

His Mercedes CLR became air under it by following the Toyota and as Dumbreck hit the curb at the 3rd Mulsanne straight his car flow up in the air at a speed of 300 kph.

He made four 360’s in the air and crashed outside of the track against a tree.

He came completley uninjured from this crash and became world famous.

Because Mark Webber suffered similar crashes in Thursday night practice and Warm up, the remaining #6 car was retired immediately, and the team withdrew from all other planned entries in endurance racing and the ALMS.

Mercedes since then never returned to Le Mans again.

Dumbreck later drove in the DTM for Mercedes and Opel. He suffered another horrific crash at Zandvoort 2004 with a Opel Vectra V8 Coupe DTM, he later retired from the series.

Now he’s driving the LMGTE-Pro Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage build by Prodrive in the WEC 2013.


2nd: Allan McNish, 24h of Le Mans 2011 (Audi R18 TDI LMP1)

Less than a hour into the race, McNish was going to pass the No.2 Audi for the lead.

By passing the car he collided with the Luxury Racing Ferrari F458 Italia in the Dunlop chicane and crashed in spectacualer style, nearly flying over the tire wall and into the crowd.

McNish was unhurt. It was cleary the fault from McNish who had a small error there.

These small errors also costed him the last years win when he crashed out only 3 hours away from the finish.


1st: John Sheldon, 24h of Le Mans 1984 (Nimrod C2B Aston Martin Group C)

John Sheldon had huge crash at the 3rd Mulsanne straight at the right hand kink.

He lost control of his car at a speed of 322 kph (200 mph) and collided with his teammate Drake Olson.

The marshal Jake Loiseau was killed by the flying parts of the Nimrod and another marshal Andre-Guy Lefebvre was seriously injured, also because of the flying parts.


Sheldon was was severely burned, and the Nimrod’s explosive impact against the Armco barriers was so violent, that some of the trees next to the track where the impact took place had been set on fire.

The race was not stopped immediately, only that section of the straight was under caution, to protect the marshals and firefighters cleaning up the accident. Soon after, four pace cars were brought out under a full course caution, which lasted for 1 hour.

Sheldon was driving from 1983-1985 in the FIA WEC.

Then it was renamed into the World Sports-Prototype Championship in 1986 and he also participated there till 1992.

He was driving in the IMSA  GTU Championship 1992.

Then he retired from racing, but he made a comeback in ELMS in 2001 driving a Porsche 911 GT3-R for Skea International, but only after one race he retired completley.



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