1999 Mercedes-Benz CLR

Images courtesy and copyright Frederic Le Floc'h, reproduced from the 1999 ACO Le Mans Annual
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller

Morning warm-up, Le Mans 1999.  Approaching Mulsanne, Mark Webber's CLR takes flight.  David Hansen looked into the blow over phenomenon in depth, check out his article.  As everyone knows, professional drivers have nerves of steel, incredible focus and split-second decision making.  Notice the Dodge Viper just behind the flying Mercedes.  Bet the average worker doesn't have to deal with airborne cars on their daily commute to the office!
In this photo it appears the Viper is almost directly underneath the soaring CLR.
As the Mercedes comes in for a landing, it appears the nose is only about ten feet behind the Viper.
The CLR touches down and the Viper driver's attention is split between his rear view mirror where it looks like he's about to have a race car in his trunk and the road in front of him, where a turn is approaching and focus is needed to hit the apex and continue with the race.
As carnage erupts behind him, the Viper driver is probably in need of a good cleaning service for his pants!
Although the aerodynamics and suspension would be called into question, there is no doubt that the structural integrity of the design was a success as driver Mark Webber was uninjured.

ęCopyright 2011, Michael J. Fuller