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Pierre Levegh

Pierre Levegh (December 22, 1905 - June 11, 1955) was a French sportsman, remembered for a disaster that killed him and around 80 spectators during the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1955.

Born Pierre Bouillon in Paris. He took the racing name Levegh in memory of his uncle, a pioneering driver. A world-class ice hockey and tennis player. In motor-sport he competed in Formula 1 for the Lago-Talbot team in 1950 and 1951, he competed in six races, retiring in three and scoring no points.

At Le Mans he raced for Lago in four races, finishing fourth in 1951. in 1952, driving single-handed, the car suffered an engine failure in the last hour of the race with a four lap lead. In 1953 he came eighth and in 1954 he was involved in an accident in the seventh hour of racing. In 1955 he was tempted away from Talbot and joined the American John Fitch in racing a Mercedes 300 SLR. In the third hour of racing while on the Mulsanne Straight he clipped an Austin-Healey, spinning his car through the air into a earth bank, the car disintegrated, scattering components into the crowd. Levegh was killed as were around 80 spectators, over 100 were injured. The race continued. Mercedes withdrew from the race, and from motor-racing in general for the next 30 years.



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