Spectacular crash at Le Mans race
Spectacular crash at Le Mans race. Pic: AFP

British driver Anthony Davidson survived a spectacular crash at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race on Saturday when his Toyota collided with a Ferrari, the clash sending his car airborne and out of the event.

The incident happened in the fifth hour of the famed endurance race at Mulsanne Corner as Davidson's Toyota was clipped by the Ferrari of Piergiuseppe Perazzini.

Davidson's vehicle left the race track, and turned on its side before smashing into the tyre barrier.

The Ferrari also ended upside down as the safety car was summoned and the race stopped.

When the race was halted, the Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre was leading last year's winner, the Audi of Benoit Treluyer.

A spokesman for Toyota, who have returned to the race for the first time in 13 years, said that Davidson was not seriously hurt.

"He is walking, he is talking and he has gone to hospital," he said.

Both Davidson's Toyota and the Ferrari of Perazzini were so badly damaged that they were ruled out of the rest of the race.

The 80th edition of the event had got under way on the dot of 1500 local time (2300 AEST) with all bar two of the 56 car grid setting off without incident.

Two cars, the Pescarolo of Emmanuel Collard and the Honda with Briton Jonny Kane at the wheel started from the grid slip road due to last-minute mechanical problems.

The start flag was waved by Takeshi Uchiyamada, vice-president of Toyota, who are represented by two cars driven initially by Stephane Sarrazine, who set off from the second row, and Austrian Alex Wurz.

The West Australian

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