Auberlen flips at Road Atlanta

Bill Auberlen escaped unhurt from a dramatic somersault early in Saturday's Petit Le Mans sportscar classic at Road Atlanta. The American's V12 LMR took off over the hump on the back straight in an accident reminiscent of Yannick Dalmas' dramatic somersault at the same track two years ago

Auberlen flips at Road Atlanta

Auberlen's car took off at almost the same point as the Frenchman's Porsche and, like Dalmas, he was running closely in the slipstream of another prototype. The BMW did a back flip, came down on its wheels and slammed into the wall at an acute angle. Thirty-one-year-old Auberlen stepped from the car unaided.

Auberlen said: "It was quite a ride. I came over the rise and, just before I went up and over, my visor got sucked up. I thought, 'the air must be going the wrong way'. Then the nose went up."

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said: "Usually our cars are not that aerodynamically sensitive, so it was obvious that a number of things contributed [to the accident]. Because we don't believe this was the fault of the car, we decided to continue the race with the number 42 V12 LMR [driven by JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller]. But we have asked our drivers to pay extra attention and not follow other cars too closely on the rise."

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