Allan McNish survived a massive crash that put the #3 Audi out of this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours in the first hour of racing. McNish was attempting to pass teammate Timo Bernhard for the lead in the esses after the Dunlop Bridge, but as he past Bernhard’s Audi the Luxury Racing #58 Ferrari 458 GTE of Anthony Beltoise, also racing for position, moved over and clipped the Audi sending both cars off course. McNish’s Audi appeared to glide and skipped across gravel trap, becoming airborne and slamming into the tire barrier. The Audi nearly flipped over the barrier into an area with photographers and course marshals. Debris including a tire cleared the barrier, hitting a few people, but there have been no reports of injuries.
Course marshals quickly righted the R18 and assisted McNish who climbed out and was walking. McNish was taken to the track medical center and than by ambulance to a local hospital for further observation and head-scan.
Audi Sport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich said: “The good thing is he is out and it looks like he will be OK. The car is strong, but we don’t want to prove it this way.” The Ferrari was able to get back to pit and reenter the race. Beltoise was not injured. The crash brought out the safety car for an hour while debris were cleaned up and the tire wall was repaired.