LE MANS, France (Reuters) – British driver Anthony Davidson was taken to hospital suffering from shock and back pains after a heavy crash just before the five-hour mark of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race on Saturday.
Davidson’s Toyota tangled with a Ferrari sports car he was trying to lap, hitting the rear and twisting through the air before plunging into the barriers at the entry to the fast Mulsanne straight.
The 33-year-old, an ex-Formula One driver and grand prix analyst for Sky television, climbed out of the number eight car and gesticulated before receiving treatment from the medical team at the Sarthe circuit.
The AF Corse Ferrari landed upside down but Italian driver Piergiuseppe Perazzini was also able to pull himself clear of the vehicle.
Toyota said Davidson was taken to the circuit medical centre and would go to a local hospital for precautionary checks although he was walking and talking normally and did not appear to be injured.
Moments before Davidson’s crash, Nicolas Lapierre in the number seven Toyota petrol-hybrid had taken the lead from Audi’s number one R18 diesel-hybrid driven by fellow Frenchman Benoit Treluyer.
The pair swapped places more than once before the Toyota racer made the move stick.