Precisely 60 years ago, at 18:26 local time on 11 June, the greatest tragedy in motorsport history befell the 1955 Le Mans race. 83 spectators tragically lost their lives on that fateful day at Le Mans. Driving that day Mercedes-Benz driver Pierre Levegh, an immensely talented athlete was a deep loss to the sporting community.
On that day Pierre was driving the #20 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR by Daimler-Benz when he hit the back of Macklin’s Austin-Healey, Mercedes got airborne and hit the left side of the track. The car parts were launched into the crowd thus making 83 spectators dead and over 120 people getting injured. Pierre Eugène Alfred Bouillin (Pierre Levegh) was dead on the spot with his skull badly crushed.
In the decades that have followed, advances in both crowd and driver safety are testament to the lessons learned in 1955.