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Audi's Duval in huge Le Mans crash

2014-06-12 09:52

HEADING FOR A CRASH: French driver Loic Duval in his Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro Hybrid during free practice ahead of the 82th Le Mans 24 hours on June 11 2014 in Le Mans, western France. Fifty-six cars with 168 drivers will race over June 14/15.

LE MANS, France -  Audi's Le Mans winner Loic Duval emerged unscathed on Wednesday (June 11) from a huge high-speed crash that halted practice at the Sarthe circuit in western France for the 2014 24 Hours sports-car race.

The Frenchman, a first-time winner in 2013, was sharing the car with Denmark's nine-times champion Tom Kristensen and Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi. He was extracted from the mangled wreckage and taken to hospital in Le Mans.

VIDEO, Duval in Le Mans practice

Audi Sport reported on its official Twitter feed that the car was destroyed by the impact after leaving the track at the Porsche Curves but "Duval was unhurt apart from two skin grazes".

FATAL CRASH IN 2013

The team added that it would do all it could to get the No.1 car ready for qualifying.

The 2013 race was marred by tragedy when Kristensen's compatriot Allan Simonsen, driving an Aston Martin, was killed in a crash only minutes after the start.

Audi will be chasing its 13th Le Mans victory this weekend (June 13-15) since its debut in 1999, and a fifth in a row.

The team faces a tough challenge from Toyota and Porsche, the latter returning as a full works team for the first time in 16 years with Australian former F1 driver Mark Webber.

It will be the 82nd race and will be waved away by Ferrari's double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso on Saturday.
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