This just in from the Le Mans track: one of the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro race cars race cars set to start in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans event got blown to smithereens in a crash that occurred during practice.
The No. 1 R18 e-tron quattro had Loic Duval at its helm when it went airborne and slammed into a concrete wall with its rear end, Jalopnik reports. Although the hybrid vehicle sustained massive damage, Duval is conscious and talking, with no signs of severe injuries.
The Frenchman is, however, under intense medical observation in a nearby hospital. Judging by the way the car looks after the massive crash, Loic is one lucky fellow, but we have a hunch FIA’s demanding safety regulations and Audi ’s adherence to them when designing the R18 played a key role in avoiding a tragedy.
Getting back to the wreckage, the footage reveals that likely nothing can be salvaged from the No. 1 car. Losing the chassis is terrible news for Audi, which now has to decide whether to bring a replacement unit and face a penalty or use only two cars in the big race.
The No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro is supposed to lap the Circuit de la Sarthe with Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Tom Kristinsen behind the wheel. The remaining cars will be driven by Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer, Filipe Albuqurque, Marco Bonanomi and Oliver Jarvis.
Click past the jump to read more and watch footage from the scene.