Modern Le Mans endurance prototype cars are the most highly advanced racing cars in the world. The technology developed on the track is crucial to the everyday road car, and the length of an endurance race (6 to 24 hours) is the ultimate test for any new technology. These cars must be fast, but most of all they must be safe – for both the driver and the spectators. The main safety feature is the carbon-fibre composite aluminium honeycomb monocoque. Think of the monocoque as a bomb shelter for one. When a car crashes, the monocoque must remain in one piece, regardless the severity of the crash. Parts outside of the monocoque are wired so they remain connected to the car, even when broken. This ensures no large part of the car goes flying into the audience.
The last two photos are from a massive wreck during the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driver Allan McNish was unharmed. Decades ago, a crash like this would have resulted in a fatality.