Fifty-nine years ago, the Le Mans hour race started like any other. It ended with the usual champagne, as well. In the middle as many as died in the most horrific disaster in Author: Raphael Orlove. Jan 20, · The Le Mans disaster occurred during the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race, when a crash caused large fragments of racing car debris to fly into the . The 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 23rd 24 Hours of Le Mans, and took place on 11 and 12 June on Circuit de la Sarthe. It was also the fourth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. A huge crowd had gathered for Europe's classic sports car race, around the mile course.