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
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."