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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Just Before It All Went Wrong

16/6/12, 1:47, 35911 views (when posted)

So the Le Mans 24 Hours was last weekend. Toyota took the fight to Audi in a way no-one truly expected, even taking the lead of the race on-track, as this video shows.

Unfortunately, you know what happens next. If not, well, there's a video of it in my blow-by-blow report of the race. The video I originally used has been removed, so I found another copy of it in about ten seconds and used that one instead. The very next camera shot after the one at the end of this video is Toyota #8 deeply embedded in the tyre wall next to an upside-down Ferrari 458 Italia.

This triggered a Safety Car period in which Kazuki Nakajima hopped into Toyota #7 and later side-swiped the DeltaWing during the restart, taking the revolutionary SR71-style car out of the race and setting off a chain reaction in his own car as well, starting with a puncture and rear bodywork damage and eventually ending in terminal engine failure. Always check for signs of internal bleeding.

So one thing we can draw from this race is that Toyota could've won it on their first try, had they finished. The other thing we can draw from this and last year's race is that red GTE-spec Ferrari 458 Italias must never be fucked with. Allan McNish's huge crash in 2011? A red 458 he didn't see. Mike Rockenfeller's 200mph crash in 2011? A red 458 not moving over. Anthony Davidson? A red 458 turning in on him. Allan McNish spearing off into the walls at the Porsche Curves this year? Oh yes, he came across a red 458 mid-corner and overreacted. Man, they should really ban those things......

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