Allan Simonsen’s teammates at Aston Martin Racing are continuing their races at the 24 Hours of Le Mans after the 34-year-old Danish driver died following an accident this morning during the first hour of the race.
A short release from the team stated that their three GTE-Pro class and No. 96 GTE-Am class squads would keep racing in tribute to him at the specific request of Simonsen’s family. Simonsen was driving a second GTE-Am machine, the No. 95 Vantage V8 (pictured), when he collided with the ARMCO barriers at the Tertre Rouge corner on his fourth lap of the race.
He later succumbed to his injuries at the Circuit de la Sarthe’s medical center. Simonsen’s death has reverberated throughout the racing world this morning, with Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin mentioning that he was behind the Dane on the track at the time of his fatal accident.
“Dreadful news that Allan Simonsen has passed away,” Gavin said on Twitter. “I was right behind him when he went off at Tetre [sic] Rouge, horrible accident. Just awful.”
According to Autosport, Simonsen’s death is the first at Le Mans since 1997, when French driver Sebastien Enjolras was killed in a pre-qualifying crash. It is also the first in the race itself since Austria’s Jo Gartner lost his life in an accident on the Mulsanne Straight back in 1986.