Bathgate’s Marino Franchitti suffered a major disappointment at the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
After spending the last 100 days developing the innovative Nissan DeltaWing, the 33-year-old Scot left the famous La Sarthe street circuit without having turned a wheel in anger.
Franchitti was scheduled to take the car’s third stint, following team-mates German Michael Krumm and Satoshi Motoyama. But after an impressive six hours, and with Motoyama behind the wheel, the DeltaWing was barged off the track by the Toyota of fellow Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima.
The Nissan clattered heavily into the wall on the exit of the Porsche Curves. And despite Motoyama working for more than 90 minutes to try to repair the car to get it back to the pits, the damage to both the right rear and front of the car was too severe.
“Of all the things to force us out of the race, being taken out of the race by somebody else is very tough to swallow.”
Audi, meanwhile, produced a dominant display to lock out the podium places. Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer repeated their success of last year in the number one e-tron Quattro hybrid car and won by over a lap from the sister car driven by Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello.
The R18 Ultra of Marci Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller finished third .