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Toyota Hybrid, DeltaWing Cars Crash at 24 Hours of Le Mans

Toyota driver Anthony Davidson will remain in the hospital until tomorrow for a precautionary check after his car running in third place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans flipped over and smashed into a tire barrier.

Davidson, 33, was suffering from shock and back pain, although appeared not to have any serious injury, Toyota said in a statement at the racetrack 130 miles southwest of Paris.

Amateur driver Piergiuseppe Perazzini, in a Ferrari 458 sports-car, clipped the Briton’s Toyota TS030 Hybrid and it flew into the air. Perazzini, 56, was able to get out of the car and sit on a grass verge. Amateur and professionals race side-by-side in different classes at Le Mans.

Overtaking was suspended for about one and a half hours to clear up the mess. With cars bunched together at the restart, the Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima made contact with the Nissan DeltaWing, which went into a wall and had to quit the race because of damage to its front end.

The experimental car had taken much of the pre-race attention because of its design: It has four-inch front wheels and weighs about half the amount of other entrants. It was backed by U.S. entrepreneur Don Panoz and the 1967 Le Mans winner Dan Gurney, and had been running near the back of the field following early gearbox problems.

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