Following news that German superhero and seven time Formula One World Champion, Michael Schumacher, will return to F1 next season, racing for the new PETRONAS Mercedes Grand Prix team, we thought a bit of MB Eye Candy was in order... [read more]

Enter the Mercedes-Benz CLR. Released in 1999 as the successor to the CLK GTR, which had a rather succesful season in the FIA's GT Championship the previous year, the CLR would compete against a rich field of cars, including the Audi R8R, BMW V12 LMR, Nissan R390 GT1 and Toyota GT-One.

However, during Thursday nights qualifying session, Mark Webber's #4 CLR went airborne at the Indianapolis corner and the car had to be completely rebuilt the following day, with more downforce added to the front.

The car was entered into Saturday's warmup, but Webber only made it as far as the hump before the Mulsanne corner before the car flipped ass over tea kettle, leaving the CLR in complete disarray. Luckily, no one was hurt in either accident.

Although there were apparent problems with the car, Norbert Haug decided to enter the other two CLRs into that afternoons race. He instructed the remaining drivers to follow closely behind other cars, especially when they encountered any bumps in the road.

However, no more than four hours into the race, Peter Dumbreck and the #5 CLR chased a Toyota GT-One into a corner shortly before Indianapolis and went airborne, flipping end-over-end and landing in the trees alongside the track. Luckily no one was injured, however the #6 CLR, driven by Bernd Schneider, was immediately retired.

A rather tragic end to what might have otherwise been a tremendous Le Mans effort, the Mercedes CLR lives on as one of motorsports biggest failures.

Photo: Mulsanne Corner
Editorial: Justin W. Coffey

1 comment:

  1. Cars that fly tend not to do too well in motor races. :)