Danish driver Allan Simonsen dies at Le Mans

Denmark's Allan Simonsen (L) waves during a parade with his team mates Kristian Poulsen (R) and Christoffer Nygaard (C), the day before the Le Mans 24-hour sportscar race. Credit: Reuters
Denmark’s Allan Simonsen (L) waves during a parade with his team mates Kristian Poulsen (R) and Christoffer Nygaard (C), the day before the Le Mans 24-hour sportscar race.
Credit: Reuters

Danish driver Allan Simonsen has died after crashing at the Le Mans 24 Hours in France on Saturday, the first fatality during the famous race for 27 years.

The 34-year-old, driving an Aston Martin, spun into the barriers at Tertre Rouge on lap three after 10 minutes.

“In a serious condition, Allan Simonsen was transferred immediately to the Circuit Medical Center where he died soon after due to his injuries,” read a statement on the event’s website (www.24h-lemans.com).

Simonsen, widely regarded as an extremely fast endurance driver, was competing in the GTE Am class in the 90th anniversary edition of the annual epic sportscar race.

Media reports said he was conscious and talking to doctors immediately following the accident.

He was attended at the scene of the crash by staff from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s medical service who transferred him to the Circuit Medical Center where he died.

Aston Martin team chief David Richards informed his family, who said they wanted the team to carry on in the event in tribute to Simonsen.

Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw added in a statement: “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.”

Simonsen had taken part in seven Le Mans 24 Hours events.

His co-drivers in the car, numbered 95, were compatriots Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen.

In a statement, the organizers (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) said that no further information will be released “while the exact reasons for the accident are still being determined”.

Simonsen was quoted telling reporters on Friday that he was looking forward to the race with great anticipation.

“Just being at Le Mans and to be allowed to drive the car on the track is incredibly special,” he said. “It’s the biggest race for us.

“It’s the one we most look forward to. It’s also difficult because there are so many excellent drivers from all over the world – it’s a huge challenge.”

After Simonsen’s accident, the first hour of the race was led by the safety car until waved green flags signaled renewed racing.

Three hours after the start, German Andre Lotterer led the race in the number one Audi R18 e-tron quattro diesel hybrid ahead of two other Audis.

Simonsen’s death is the first driver fatality at Le Mans since Frenchman Sebastien Enjolras was killed during pre-qualifying in 1997 and the first during the race since Austrian Jo Gartner died in 1986.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drug overdoses on the rise in New York…

Recently released health department numbers show more than one person a day in New York City overdoses on an opioid, such as heroin. From 2010…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

International

Ebola toll tops 1,550, outbreak accelerates: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,552 people out of 3,069 known cases in four countries and "continues…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

Television

TV watch list, Thursday, Aug. 28: 'Welcome to…

"Welcome to Sweden" wraps up its first season with a two episode run tonight, featuring a special appearance from the star's sister, Ms. Amy Poehler.

Movies

Interview: 'Life of Crime' star John Hawkes likes…

John Hawkes talks about playing a bumbling crook in "Life of Crime" and how he wanted his "Martha Marcy May Marlene" villain to be "bland."

Gossip

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married

The couple tied the knot in Chateau Miraval, France.

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

NFL

Fantasy football: What to take away from preseason

The third set of exhibition games, which went down last weekend, is the dress rehearsal week.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…