24 Hours of Le Mans: Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen killed in crash
Danish racing driver Allan Simonsen was killed as a result of injuries sustained during a crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The incident took place on the fourth lap of the race. Simonsen, who was participating for the seventh-time this year at Le Mans, spun about 10-minutes into the race, hitting safety barriers at the Tertre Rouge bend. According to race officials, the 34-year-old was in serious condition after the accident and was immediately rushed to a hospital, where he died shortly thereafter.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which organizes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, released the following statement:
The driver was immediately attended on the scene by the doctors from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s Medical Service.
In a serious condition, Allan Simonsen was transferred immediately to the Circuit Medical Centre where he died soon after due to his injuries.
Allan Simonsen’s family has been informed immediately by David Richards, Principal of the Aston Martin Racing team.
Allan Simonsen, an experienced driver aged 34, had taken part in seven 24 Heures du Mans.
His team mates in the No.95 car were his fellow countrymen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest wishes to express its great sadness following this incident, and extends its deepest condolences to the family and those close to Allan Simonsen.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest will make no further statement while the exact reasons for the accident are still being wholly determined.
Aston Martin has completely blacked out its website, save for the following statement:
Le Mans, 22 June 2013: It is with great shock and sadness that the Aston Martin Racing Team confirms that an accident occurred shortly after the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at around 15:09 hrs CET today (22 June) when the No 95 Vantage GTE driven by Allan Simonsen left the track at Tertre Rouge.
Tragically, and despite the best efforts of the emergency services in attendance, Allan’s injuries proved fatal.
Aston Martin Racing Managing Director, John Gaw, said: “On behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Racing, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the individuals, and families whose friends or loved ones were involved in today’s terrible tragedy.”
Aston Martin Racing will not make any further comment until the precise circumstances of the accident have been determined. Next of kin have been informed.
Following the ACO’s media statement concerning the tragic death of Aston Martin Racing driver Allan Simonsen, and at the specific request of his family, the team will continue to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in tribute to Allan.
A video showing the first 10 minutes of the race can be found below.
WARNING: It ends with Simonsen’s accident, along with an official statement from race’s governing authority, Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
The No. 95 Aston Martin that Simonsen co-drove along with teammates Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen has officially retired from the race. Our condolences to all those close to Simonsen.
[Image source: Aston Martin]