A saddening and sobering accident has occurred at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. According to reports, Allan Simonsen, has crashed at the wheel of the Gulf Racing Aston Martin and has died. The crash happened in the first ten minutes of the 24-hour endurance race at the Tetre Rouge corner of the track. Simonsen, 34, was competing for the seventh time and was one of the most experienced drivers in the GTE-Am (Amateur) class. The Danish driver had crashed and was attended to by race medics on the scene, before being transported to the track’s medical center, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Simonsen was competing on a team with fellow Danish drivers, Christopher Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen. The trio had snagged pole position for their class in qualifying this week. Following the crash, organizers suspended racing for an hour, before resuming competition, including, the Aston Martin team, who issued the following statement:
“At the specific request of his family, the team will continue to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in tribute to Allan”
The full statement is at the Aston Marting Racing site, and is a very appropriate and classy tribute to the late driver.
The Gulf Racing livery is perhaps an appropriate reminder of the dangerous history of Le Mans. Danger is part of the heritage of the sport, yet it still is no less tragic when something like this occurs. Our thoughts are with the family of Simonsen.