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ELMS

LMS Paul Ricard – Lola Aston Martin crash

Just after 4.30pm local time in the afternoon session of the Le Mans Series test days the 007 Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin brought out the red flag after crashing into the barrier. The crash took place just before the second righthander after the long Mistral straight. Planetlemans photographer Brecht Decancq was there when it happened.

The damaged Lola Aston Martin has been returned to the team but will not return to the track this weekend. Tomas Enge was behind the wheel of the doomed car, he was uninjured in the accident. The Czech driver, who had only just set the fastest lap, admitted it was a driver mistake and not a mechanical failure on the car.

Lola Aston Martin crash 1 - © Planetlemans - Brecht DecancqLola Aston Martin crash 2 - © Planetlemans - Brecht DecancqLola Aston Martin crash 3 - © Planetlemans - Brecht DecancqLola Aston Martin crash 4 - © Planetlemans - Brecht DecancqLola Aston Martin crash 5 - © Planetlemans - Brecht Decancq

Discussion

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  1. Oh No!

    Posted by airbusA346 | March 8, 2009, 17:59
  2. Oh No indeed but isnt it time that Prodive give up on Enge…hes done this too many times now to be usefull……

    Posted by PeterSm | March 8, 2009, 18:08
  3. Almost heartbreaking sight :’(

    Posted by 917K | March 8, 2009, 18:18
  4. He has made mistakes granted, but he is still one of the Quickest drivers out there in any class.

    Posted by Kyle | March 8, 2009, 18:19
  5. Oh No!(2x) dang!!! AMR needs to get a reliable driver for instance… :down:

    Posted by nasdriv87 | March 8, 2009, 18:27
  6. Autosport: – Asked if the monocoque had been written-off, Aston Martin Racing team principal George Howard-Chappell said: “It looks pretty grim, but the main thing is that Tomas is okay.”

    :(

    Posted by airbusA346 | March 8, 2009, 18:38
  7. You almost expect Enge to do such thing. In 2007 at LeMans the 007 car was leading GT1 until he went off into the dirt and broke a few things. You can be fast without taking such risks.

    Photographer Brecht Decancq is officially an ace for catching that one in the heat of the moment! Well done.

    Posted by bamba | March 8, 2009, 19:00
  8. Dag, that sucks

    Posted by Christopher.uk | March 8, 2009, 19:05
  9. I like the Ads by Google under this photo series….Adwords working at its best…;-)

    Posted by Mainz5 | March 8, 2009, 19:26
  10. Bamba: no it was Herbert who crashed while leading.

    Posted by tramker | March 8, 2009, 19:49
  11. Tomas Enge has a history of wrecking, but you have to give it to him, it was a new car, on a new track (sorta).

    Posted by carsismeZR1 | March 8, 2009, 20:00
  12. I agree that Tomas has passed his sell-by date. In addition to the above mentioned incidents, he destroyed two F430s in 2007, basically taking Petersen-White Lightning out of championship contention, and, utlitmately, out of the series.

    Posted by TomE | March 9, 2009, 4:43
  13. Get off of Enge already, boo birds.

    Peterson pulled the plug on this team because he was knee deep in real estate, DUH see the real estate market lately in America? Plus traffic at the casino he was sponsored by was down, its already off the strip, so if strip traffic is down everybody suffers.

    He might have wrecked in GT1 before, but he also brought Prodrive its first GT1 Le Mans victory in the F550.

    He is not done as a drive and still very fast.

    I would hire him in a second. Mario Andretti cracked up alot of equipment I bet many of you didn’t call for his head.

    Posted by Anthony | March 9, 2009, 5:11
  14. “Mario Andretti cracked up alot of equipment I bet many of you didn’t call for his head.”

    True that…..

    I know Enge has had some history of wrecking cars, but as a die-heart AMR fan. I would still keep him. He’s very fast, and has alot of talent.

    I know he’s done stupid things in the past, while getting cought. Yeah tested positive for marijuana, and striped of his 2002 International Formula 3000 title.

    But they can fix that car in about a week or 2. Looks like just front end damage. No rush, for now….

    Posted by Christopher.uk | March 9, 2009, 5:24
  15. It seems to me like there must have been a problem with the parts. Perhaps the buyer drinks too much stella and bought inadequete components?

    Posted by Skeet | March 9, 2009, 10:29
  16. Glad he is ok…but this is too much from him. He does this all the time. I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but now that DSC has confirmed it was driver error i am not. All drivers make errors occasionally and I’m not sure that he makes more than others. But his do seem to be much more….spectacular. I say ax him and someone else that is at least less of a risk. There are plenty of quick drivers that are reliable and quick.

    Posted by Tony | March 9, 2009, 15:14
  17. Christopher.uk: no, Richards and Howard-Chappell both confirmed tub has been damaged… not a good start. I’m sure they’ve prepared (budget wise) for extra tubs but this test has been certainly ruined since they were supposed to work on two cars…

    Posted by 917K | March 9, 2009, 17:32
  18. Sure it seems only front end damage. But this is Paul Ricard almost reminds me of Spa. Drivers love it so much because of the generous runoff areas. On a real circuit it would have been more damage than that.

    Mulsanne straight at LeMans anyone???

    Don’t get me wrong I love his speed. I always wanted to see him in a well prepared IndyCar, but the fact remains you can be fast without wrecking this much.

    2007 with White lighting:
    -Crash at St Petersburg while leading took him out for 2 races

    -Took out all 3 Ferraris at Lime Rock giving the win to Flying Lizard.

    At Mid Ohio he bumped the Risi #62 Ferrari by accident, taking it out of contention for a win. Mika Salo retaliated by spinning him around. But since White Lightning was supported by ferrari they wanted Enge gone or they would stop supporting white lightning. He was threatening their official team (Risi) and the championship.

    Oh yeah this incident also gave the Lizards their second win in a row, and tightened the championship.

    Ferrari then dispatched Dirk Muller to White Lightning, to help “support” Risi in the title chase. So he never really raced to win. I’m sure he would have if Risi was off the pace.

    As you guys see not many manufacturers would put up with unnecessary expenses.

    As far as Mario Andretti, back then, there weren’t that many fast drivers available. Today they are all over, and the competition is fiercer to get a good racing seat. So the team has the upper hand in negotiating. Not the driver.

    Posted by bamba | March 9, 2009, 17:37
  19. Also don’t forget Aston Martin is racing with a (relatively)thin budget. They can’t even get the Lola chassis homologated.

    The Pescarolo, Oreca, Acura, and I think Audi chassis, all started life as Courage casts. But those teams spent the money necessary to modify it to their own designs then applied for ACO homologation. And of course you have to pay off the original designer to have permission to modify the chassis.

    Aston Martin has not done that. Remember that press release by Lola??? They probably waited in vain for the check in the mail.

    Bottom line is Tomas Enge can’t afford to be having joy rides such as these.

    If Aston Martin is not the top petrol team at LeMans, the haven’t met expectations.

    Posted by bamba | March 9, 2009, 17:49
  20. Darren Turner in the other car now has pressure to equate Tomas Enge’s times, or at least catch up to the Oreca.

    Posted by bamba | March 9, 2009, 18:00
  21. Oreca purchased Courage. Audi has had Dallara help them.

    Peugeot Sport had bad crashes at Spa, Le Mans, and Silverstone in 2008.

    Posted by rick | March 9, 2009, 19:57
  22. Tomas Enge should not be aston martins worry they should be worried about Miguel Ramos or Jan Charouz obiously enge is a much more skilled driver then these two

    Posted by coleman | March 10, 2009, 2:03
  23. The images are now available in 800×533 resolution.

    Posted by Marcel ten Caat | March 12, 2009, 0:41
  24. Aston Martin will overcome this blow as they have done in the past. It’s not the end of the world and certainly not the end of Aston Martin Racing!

    Posted by Simon O'Gorman | May 29, 2009, 19:33

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