Aston Martin Driver Allan Simonsen Dies in Le Mans Accident
LE MANS, FRANCE -RIS- Danish Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen died today in an accident during the first hour of this year's running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Simonsen, 34, co-driver of the #95 AM Vantage GTE program was fatally injured as his car spun off-track at the Tertre Rouge corner ten minutes into the twenty-four hour race. It appeared the rear of the #95 slipped out as the car entered the long right-hander on to the Mulsanne Straight. Simsonsen corrected, and the car snapped back and headed directly into the guard rail.
He was transported to the circuit medical center where he succumbed to his injuries.
It was Simonsen's seventh Le Mans appearance.
The last fatality at Le Mans occurred 16 years ago, when Peugeot driver Sébastien Enjolras was killed in practice for the 1997 event.
From the event organizers, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest:
"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."
Has been a contributor to RIS since 1992. He was invited to join the staff as a full-time reporter/editor in 1995. Tom has reported on IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.