The first race of the 2011 Le Mans Series at Le Castellet started in unbelievable circumstances when the safety car at the front of the field failed to leave the track as the lights turned green.
The Le Mans Series features a rolling start system, with the Audi A5 safety car supposed to leave the track before the cars hit the start line.
Unfortunately this didn’t happen, and a significant and expensive pile-up in the middle of the field ensued.
The complete fallout is still to play out, with the Le Mans Series’ organisers yet to give an official explanation for the calamitous affair.
Frustrated Porsche works driver and last year’s winner, Richard Leitz, explained he was forced out of the race before it even began.
“After the formation lap, the lights were already green, but because of the packed field it wasn’t possible to register that the safety car hadn’t yet left the track,” Leitz said.
“Suddenly I was torpedoed from the left and pushed into the wall. I had no chance to avoid the accident.”