The different teams trained in numerous procedures and learned the usual precautions to be taken (removal of helmets, putting on a collar, laying the patient on a stretcher, etc) to ensure the driver’s safety after an accident.
In 2014, the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit has become the world centre for driver extrication from their car after a race accident. Thus, for the first time last weekend the 24-Hours circuit welcomed 200 specialists from 45 countries.
In addition to rapid extrication (in particular in the case of fire), the different teams trained in numerous procedures and learned the usual precautions to be taken (removal of helmets, putting on a collar, laying the patient on a stretcher, etc) to ensure the driver’s safety after an accident.
The 200 specialists from all over the world also familiarised themselves with certain particular situations like safety procedures on hybrid prototypes to avoid electric shocks.
To help out Toyota lent one of its TS030 hybrids, the car driven to second place in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours by Stéphane Sarrazin-Sébastien Buemi-Anthony Davidson, which also won the Bahrain 6 Hours, the final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. An open prototype was on hand: the Morgan-Nissan LM P2 Art Car lent by the Le Mans-based team, OAK Racing, which won this category in the 2013 24 Hours.
Victorious in the LM GTE AM category in 2012 and 2013 respectively, Larbre Competition and IMSA Performance Matmut supplied a Corvette and three Porsche 911s.
The teams could also practice on the new Porsche 911 GT3, specially designed to facilitate the extrication of drivers thanks to a removable door and an access hatch in the roof.
DAMS lent two singles-seater GP2 cars; two Formula Renaults were supplied by the Auto Sport Academy and ARTA Engineering, while the FIA Institute provided a replica of a Formula 1 cockpit.
extrication from a single-seater is very different from a prototype or a GT as the driver is extracted in his bucket seat. Each of the cars had a garage on the pits straight and the extrication teams passed from one to another during their training course.
Professor Jean-Charles Piette, vice president of the FIA’s (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) Medical Commission summed up the aims of these stages: “to standardise international extrication procedures so that the training is the same everywhere.” Once they have returned home, the mission of the trainees present at Le Mans on 24-26 January will be to pass on the know-how acquired at Le Mans to their fellow-countrymen.
For the last 91 years the Le Mans 24 Hours has been a trail-blazer in the development of new technologies linked to the motor car. And now the legendary circuit has became a world training centre for the safety of drivers! “The most important thing is to save their life,” summed up Professor Gérard Saillant, the FIA Medical Commission’s President, who visited the training sessions over the three days.