LeMans: McNish destroys Audi in first hour

Allan McNish made a dumb aggressive move in the first hour in his #3 Audi and survived a huge crash in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. His new Audi R18 was destroyed, but he climbed out OK.

McNish was trying to win the race in the first hour and was challenging teammate Timo Bernhard for the lead when he dived down the inside at the right-hander after the Dunlop Bridge. He made it past Bernhard, but clipped the number 58 Ferrari 458 of Anthony Beltoise and spun across the gravel trap and into the tire barrier and guiderail.

The car, which McNish was to share with Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello, became airborne and smashed against the barriers, with some debris making it over the fence into a photographer's area.

The R18 TDI had to be turned right side up before McNish could climb out. He was taken to the medical centre.

Head of Audi Sport Dr Wolfgang Ulrich said: "The Ferrari touched the right rear of the Audi and it lost control.

"The good thing is he is out and it looks like he will be OK. The car is strong, but we don't want to prove it this way."

Capello added: "That was scary. It was a big shock for everyone and the first thought is for Allan.

"It is at a corner where you think there is enough run-off. In that kind of accident there is never enough run-off.

"Once I hear more I know I will be more relaxed. I want to forget the result of the race, I'm just waiting to hear about him. For me it is tough because it is questionable whether this is my last Le Mans. Fingers crossed for Allan."

Beltoise, who made it back to the pits for repairs, said: "I saw nothing. I was in the corner on my line.

"I checked my mirror on the exit of the chicane and saw nothing. So I take the corner and feel a big shock to the car, and then I see an Audi on its roof.

"Maybe it's a racing accident, maybe he was too quick to try to pass."

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