24 Hours of Le Mans 1955: the forgotten story of motorsport’s worst accident

On June 11, 1955, the most famous car race in the world fell into tragedy. The driver of one of the leading cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, traveling at 240 km/h, brakes too late to avoid a competitor. His vehicle flew away and broke up in the stands. Result: 82 dead, more than 120 injured. The heaviest in the history of motorsport.

Almost seventy years after the tragedy, and as the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its centenary, The world had access to unpublished archives kept by the Cinémathèque de Normandie. Rare amateur films, shot at the very moment of construction of the circuit, which provide a better understanding of how this legendary race turned into hell.

A new episode of our “Flashback” series, behind the scenes of the images that changed history.

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