Skip to comments.Driver Allan Simonsen dies in 24 Hours of Le Mans race
Posted on 06/22/2013 10:16:38 AM PDT by Doogle
LE MANS, France Danish driver Allan Simonsen has died following a crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, race organizers said.
The 34-year-old Simonsen was taken to the hospital Saturday after his Aston Martin No. 95 crashed out about 10 minutes after the start of the race. He died at the hospital soon after arrival "due to his injuries," organizers said.
UGLY FAST guardrail hit...from car following
The last “shunt” of life doing what he loved to do.
Where’s the link?
I witnessed a crash in the early pre dawn hours of a Le Mans race in the early seventies. We learned several hours later from the announcers and French radio that the driver had been killed. No change in on track or off track activities, the race and festivities went on. While the yellow flags did come out for a bit, saw no change in speeds or passing. Don’t know how it is these days.
Although crash updates come in quicker now via social media, I think they still manage the course much the same way that you witnessed. The changes since the '70s have been focused on making the dangerous parts of the course safer... like better pit and garage areas and chicanes to slow down the fast straightaways.
I watched it as it happened....Simonsen was well of the track in the run off area....his car was completely mangled...looking at the in board video something must’ve broke on the car...
The course back then was very much like the Steve McQueen movie, with lip service to safety rather than anything serious. We were careful where we pitched our tent, not wanting a racing car to come to rest on top of it. Many others did not take such precautions. The race is a magnificent spectacle and unique in the world.
And of course, the 1955 accident, which killed 80+ spectators and led to Mercedes-Benz discontinuing their racing team, shaped the sport during the 60's and 70's. Carol Shelby whupped Ferrari..I'd have liked to see him take on MB..
To me it appears me he saw a slower car (red) on the right side of the road going slow. To make sure he had enough room to pass he moved slightly to his left coming around the right hand turn and drove up onto the rumble strips. At that point the tires lost contact with the ground. He bottomed out. Notice that the car fishtails as the tires make contact with the payment again. He could not regain control. Next the car went into the Armco. Unfortunately,there was a tree directly behind the Armco which did most of the damage to the car and driver. RIP
I agree, the Aston did look pretty stable right up until the car darted hard left, which did indeed look like a steering/suspension failure. Hard to say; he could've picked up some debris from another car or something else that upset the car's stability. It's not hard for things to go all pear-shaped when you're playing with that much horsepower.
Actually more like 10 Minutes of Le Mans.
I will respectfully disagree with y’all. If you will notice the track is lined with lots and lots of very wide painted French blue borders. These are very, very wide and look quite nice from the air.
However, the race started with a damp track with very light drizzle and when he put the left side tires on the blue(which is very slick compared to the other side unpainted asphalt) the rear started to slide under power, he corrected and the car reversed (under dry conditions it would be over corrected) and he took a hard left into the Armco.
Motorcycle racers avoid painted stripes under wet conditions like it was the plaque for this very reason.
If the blue stripes were not there either he would have recovered or the impact with the Armco would have been more survivable.
.....wet conditions...that blue paint the other side of the bump strip likely sent him off
I didn't see the beginning of the race, was it raining when this crash took place? I've noticed that the track has been semi-dry, with all the cars trying to stay in the dry strip down the middle.
And why was he following the crash anyway? Was he a lawyer?
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
We be bad.
problem with that is the car behind him took the exact same line and did not have a problem....
Simonsen’s car made a direct left hand turn at almost 90-degrees and was out of control...a damp track, even on a painted line, won’t cause a left hand turn like that- it would cause the car to slide left (happens all the time in Indy car) rather than turn left..
This type of wreck happens quite often in wet road racing. He had one wheel on the painted surface, not both.
The following car was not on the gas as hard, and we don’t know exactly where his two left wheels were precisely.
High powered RWD, damp corner, one wheel on paint, one on asphalt, probably a TORSEN differential(or equivalent) in the car and it spells trouble.
The paint shouldn’t have been there, period.
there was another massive accident at almost 4AM, again from an Astin Martin like Simonsen’s, where the car slid then made an almost 90-degee left hand turn into the barrier...
something’s up with the steering mechanism in that car...
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