Motor Trend Host Shares Details of Horrifying ABT Audi R8 Crash

Every time we get behind the wheel of a car, we’re putting our lives in the hands of complete strangers who we trust will be paying attention to the road. Whether it’s drunk drivers, distracted drivers or just plain bad drivers, though, we are often closer to disaster than we might know. Motor Trend J-Turn host Jessi Lang found this out last September when testing an ABT-tuned Audi R8 GTR on the autobahn.
ABT-tuned Audi R8 GTR 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
With an ABT engineer in the passenger seat, Lang was driving the half-million dollar, 620-hp R8 prototype at a high rate of speed when, in the final mile of the test drive, a much slower car cut her off leaving her no time to react. While she doesn’t say exactly how fast she was going, she estimates the other car was doing just a third of her speed and the destruction caused to both vehicles was apparent.

Fortunately, the tuned R8 was fitted with a roll cage so both Lang and the engineer were able to easily get out car, which was quickly engulfed in flames. While there is no indication as to the fate of the other driver or the ABT engineer, Lang tells the gruesome story of the accident in which she says she was “reminded of the gruesome reality that anyone can do anything at any time.”

It’s been almost a year since the life-threatening accident, and Lang’s recovery is still ongoing requiring plenty of surgeries and physical therapy. Her attitude and passion of cars hasn’t wavered after the accident, though. Just before her most recent surgery, she was at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca driving a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 from the old Trans Am racing series. The video concludes with Lang stating that she broke her leg “in one of the best ways possible.”

Head on over to Motor Trend for the full story, and be sure to check out her video interview below.

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