This is a new feature that I am going to test. I want to boost interaction on GP Evolved. This, like everything here, will be an evolving process. So, please vote on the polls as I test, and refine, this feature. The whole idea is that I will present a famous motorsport controversy–usually with a twist. Then, a poll will follow so you can weigh in on who should be held technically, morally, or ethically responsible.
Case: #001. Forthcoming.
Case: #002. The people vs. The Organizers of Le Mans, 1955.
Please take note, graphic footage follows of the worst atrocity in motorsports. At least 83 spectators were killed in this horrific incident. Controversies abound about which driver – or which company – are to blame for the tragedy. I am not going to comment on the facts. I want you to be the judge. So, First, I am going to present the text of the June 27, 1995 LIFE Magazine article, which describes the incident (courtesy of http://www.ewilkens.com). Second, I am going to present some rather shocking raw footage of the accident. Finally, I will present a short argument commenting on why, I believe, the race organizers should be held responsible.
You be the judge.
LIFE Magazine, June 27, 1955.
Crash and Carnage at 150 MPH:
This is how the worst racing accident happened.
“Hours after flame and flying metal erupted, few of the spectators at Le Mans, France knew what had happened. It was days before drivers’ stories and these pictures could reconstruct the worst accident in racing history. Some 250,000 spectators had gathered for Europe’s classic sports car race, the 24-hour test around an 8.38 miles course. Concerned about a course laid out years ago for slower cars, Mercedes Driver Pierre Levegh complained, “We need a signal system. Our cars go too fast.
“As the race entered its third hour the cars were breaking records at every lap when Jaguar Driver Mike Hawthorn received a signal from his pit crew to stop for gas. As he braked, an Austin-Healey swerved to avoid him. A few lengths behind, Levegh raised his hand, signaling another Mercedes to slow up. At 150 mph he had no chance to do so himself.
“Hitting the Healey, the Mercedes took off like a rocket, struck the enbankment beside the track, hurtles end over end and then disintigrated over the crowd. The hood decapitated tightly jammed spectators like a guillotine. The engine and front axle cut a swath like an artillery barrage. And the car’s magnesium body burst into flames like a torch, burning others to death. In a few searing seconds, 82 people were dead and 76 were maimed. Hawthorn, though unnerved, went on to win and set a new record. But few spectators had the enthusiasm to cheer.”
The Raw Footage of the Tragedy.