• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Denmark's Simonsen dies at Le Mans

AFP · 22 Jun 2013, 20:16

Published: 22 Jun 2013 20:16 GMT+02:00

The 34-year-old, competing in the mythic race for the seventh time, spun off on the third lap into the safety barriers at the ultra-quick Tertre Rouge bend, demolishing his car.

Le Mans organisers The Automobile Club de l'Ouest issued a statement reporting that emergency services were immediately at the scene to attend the stricken driver.

It continued: "In a serious condition, Allan Simonsen was transferred immediately to the Circuit Medical Centre where he died soon after due to his injuries.

"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."

Simonsen crashed barely ten minutes after the start of the 81st edition of the showpiece endurance event with rain and wind combining to make testing conditions at the Sarthe circuit.

The race was stopped the race for an hour, the time required to remove debris from the track and repair the safety barrier.

The father of one, driving an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, was competing in the GTE-Am category.

His team mates in the No.95 car were his fellow countrymen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen. Two days ago they had been celebrating taking pole position.

Former Formula One champion Jenson Button led tributes to Simonsen.

The McLaren driver posting on Twitter: "Allan Simonsen RIP.such a tragic loss. A true fighter & a true racer. Safety is something we need 2 improve on in Motorsport."

Another former F1 champion, Finn Kimi Raikkonen, added: "R.I.P. Allan Simonsen. Sad news."

Story continues below…

Simonsen was the first driver to die during the race since Austrian Josef Gartner, driving a Porsche, in 1986, and the 23rd overall, including fatalities in qualifying for the race.

Simonsen, who listed Le Mans as his favourite circuit on his personal webpage, was born in Odense, and graduated to endurance racing after starting out as a mechanic.

The former Danish Formula Ford champion's last win came in April at Silverstone where he won the GT-AM class in the Aston Martin with Poulsen and Nygaard.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Corsica bushfire leaves 500 hectares scorched
Photos: AFP

A massive fire left 500 hectares of bushland in Corsica ravaged.

View from the rue
What do Parisians think of France's burqini bans?
Photo: AFP

With 64 percent of the French against burqinis at the beach, what do the Parisians think?

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,761
jobs available