Davidson breaks back in Le Mans accident
18 June 2012 – Anthony Davidson suffered a broken back in a large crash just five hours into the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday evening. The Hemel Hempstead driver, F1 pundit for Sky Sports, was launched into the air after making contact with a back-marker’s Ferrari.
While Davidson sat third overall for Toyota, having moved to the debutant Japanese team after Peugeot pulled out, the incident occurred at the end of the Mulsanne Straight. As the Englishman moved inside to lap Piergiuseppe Perrazini, the latter moved in the same direction to ensure high-speed contact between the two cars.
Davidson was sent skyward before suffering a heavy impact with the tyre barriers, with the Ferrari spinning into the barriers before rolling and finishing the crash upside-down. Both men escaped the moment unaided, but the extent of Davidson’s injuries were revealed in check-ups at hospital shortly afterwards.
“Well that was a big one!” he said on Twitter. “Lying in a French hospital with a broken back wasn't what I had in mind at this stage in the race...gutted for the Toyota Hybrid team who did an amazing job all week, but generally happy to be alive!”
With doctors having confirmed two broken vertebrae, another update followed on Monday morning:
“Difficult night last night as pain levels increased. Haven't been allowed to eat anything and very bored of this view! Genuinely overwhelmed by all the tweets, texts, emails and visits. Your support and friendship has been amazing. Thank you.”
The race was won by Audi Sport Team Joest, with the combination of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer triumphant for the second consecutive year.
The crash can be viewed at GPUpdate TV