The Deadliest Crash – Le Mans 1955

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    This is up on iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sfptx/The_Deadliest_Crash_the_Le_Mans_1955_Disaster/

    fascinating previously unseen footage of the 1955 disaster and a real insight into what the heroes of the past used to put up with while racing. Includes fangio and Hawthorn. Its only up on the iPlayer for another week but its really worth watching.

    For those not in the uk, I think its on youtube somewhere, the title of the documentary is ‘The Deadliest Crash’. Really worth a watch.

    Anyone seen it or got any opinions?



    I saw it when it was first on the TV. It was really quite shocking. I have a fellow fanatic on facebook and we were commenting about it and I think we were both quite shocked at the detail and what happened to all those spectators.

    However, I thought it was handled very well and really worth watching. I liked the footage they had discovered too.

    I actually came away from it feeling quite sorry for Mike H. He never really shrugged what happened off and many blamed him, it must have been just horrendous for everyone but for him to pretty much wear the blame for what happened was awful also.



    Yeah I watched it on telly, I was amazed they had footage of the actual crash, I had no idea they did. It was really heart breaking to watch, the whole documentary was a real tear jerker. What I couldn’t believe is there’s no memorial for all those that lost their lives :( It’s definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it already.


    Dan Thorn

    I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary, the stories behind some of the survivors and the panoramic photo of before and after the crash was truly horrific. I too felt very sorry for Hawthorn, not his fault at all. In fact it wasn’t anyones fault – the track wasn’t well designed enough of the sports cars of the day and sadly sometimes it takes a tragedy for problems to be resolved.



    I’m not really sure that its anyones fault. It was a really incredible piece of footage that they managed to put together though.

    Does anyone know what the protocol for going into the pits was? i.e. should Hawthorn have slowed in front of the faster car or should he simply not have been there? (can’t remember the name of the driver)



    A truly horrific accident. Very sad. A very well-done and respectful documentary.

    One thing always confuses me – I saw the crash footage years ago, the British Pathe clip which Keith linked to in the Round-Up. I only realised after first watching the BBC documentary that the Pathe film is mirrored – check out the link and look at the sponsors billboards in the backgrounds to see what I mean. Anyone know why this might be?


    Tom L.

    James – I saw that too! I presumed it was ’cause it was originally recorded on old negatives which had to be reversed? But I really have no idea.



    If nothing else, it illustrates the difference between then and now about our current litigious society – if the Le Mans racing circuit would still have the same spectator areas and racing safety now as they had back then, that type of accident would result in so many lawsuits and damage claims that the race, its organizers and backers (and possibly even the entire series itself) would likely be forced into bankruptcy, and litigated into history.



    Just finished watching it, it was a terrible disaster. If you compare to the fact that how low the safety level was back then to today in F1. In those racing was more challenging then they are right now but just think what would have happened in those days if anybody had an accident like the one Kubica had in 07 Canada.



    Can anyone give me any link where I can find the reason on how Aryton Senna died, I know that National Geographic many years ago did a documentary on it but on you tune it is not posted full.



    is this the one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4FHpo_CDT0&feature=related

    i know its in parts, but all the following parts are linked on the right I think. Don’t seem to remember that its a great documentary to be honest as well



    @ sw6569

    Yes thanks. Yeah I did saw it many years ago but those days I never knew too much about the sports so can’t remember.

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