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
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Local

City Council committee moves Williamsburg's Domino refinery deal…

The deal to turn the old Domino Sugar refinery along the Williamsburg waterfront into a new housing complex is one Council vote away from approval.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

'A Brony Tale' documents men who are into…

Ashleigh Ball, a voice actress on "My Little Pony," speaks to us.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Going Out

Pop-up cat cafe opens to long lines in…

The country's first pop-up cat cafe opened in New York on Thursday.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.