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Christopher Hilton

Le Mans '55. The crash that changed the face of motor racing.

Le Mans '55. The crash that changed the face of motor racing.

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The worst crash in motor racing history - killing more than 80 people - was produced by a ferocious and haunting combination of circumstances: nationalism, raw speed, the nature of a 24-hour race, and chance. This is why and how it happened.

The crash drew in Mike Hawthorn, the blond playboy from Farnham, in a Jaguar, and Juan-Manuel Fangio, one of the greatest drivers of all, in a Mercedes.

Another English playboy, Lance Macklin, was caught up in the crash in his Austin-Healey, along with a 50-year-old Frenchman driving under the assumed name of Pierre Levegh. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It cost him his life.

Through a host of interviews - with drivers, team members, journalists and spectators - and original research at Le Mans and in the Mercedes archive in Stuttgart, Hilton recreates every aspect of the race and the crash.

He examines the aftermath and chronicles the beginning of the culture of safety that has affected what we see of motorsport on our television screens today.

About the Author

Christopher Hilton is a leading authority and writer on contemporary and historic motorsport and has written more than 30 books on it. He also writes on cricket, one of his other great passions.

He has specialized in biographies of modern Formula 1 drivers like Michael Schumacher and the late Ayrton Senna, but also produced a ground-breaking study of the Donington Grands Prix of 1937 and 1938

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