The Danish driver Allan Simonsen died today after a crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 34 year old was at the wheel of the Aston Martin Racing No.95 Vantage GTE. It left the track at high speed at Tertre Rouge, on the fourth lap ten minutes after the start.
Race organisers say he was tended at the scene by doctors before being transferred to the Circuit Medical Centre, where he died soon afterwards. Allan Simonsen was an experienced Le Mans driver – this was his seventh race there. It is the first death in the race since 1986.
AMR 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.”
AMR say that at the specific request of his family, the team will continue to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in tribute to Allan, who was also racing in British GT this season with the Ferrari 458 Rosso Verde team.
His family have been flown home to Copenhagen by the team.
Tonight the CEO of Aston Martin Racing, David Richards, said: “Incidents like this are very rare but when they happen you have to make decisions based on a number of factors – in this case the wishes of the family were paramount.
“We spoke with Allan’s family who were insistent that we continued to compete in the 24-hour race. The team is, of course, deeply saddened by the loss of one of our drivers, however we are as focused as ever to win this race, but we are now racing to win for Allan.”
The Presidents of the FIA and the ACO, Jean Todt and Pierre Fillion, issued a joint statement.
“We wish to express our profound sadness regarding the death of Allan Simonsen at today’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. We would like to convey our deepest and heartfelt sympathies to Allan’s family and friends. Our thoughts are also with his Aston Martin teammates at this difficult time.
“Allan was an extremely talented and experienced sportscar driver who had raced in every corner of the world and was highly respected by his peers and his team. For many in endurance racing, Allan was above all a good friend who displayed his passion for racing on and off the track.
“His loss will be felt by the FIA, the ACO and the greater motorsport family.”
Racing.GT would like to send its deepest condolences to Allan’s family, to Aston Martin Racing and to Rosso Verde.