Driver dies in 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Driver dies in 24 Hours of Le Mans

Allan Simonsen’s death after a spinout cast a pall over the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The race still had more than 23 hours to go, but there was no call to stop it on Saturday after the first driver fatality in 16 years.

Simonsen’s partner Carina, mother to their daughter born last year, made sure of that.

It was her “specific request” that Simonsen’s team, Aston Martin Racing, continue the world’s most renowned endurance race in honor of the Dane.

Just 10 minutes into the race, Simonsen spun and skidded into the barrier at the Tertre Rouge corner where cars typically reach speeds of up to 105 mph. The 34-year-old Simonsen was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries, race organizers said.

The violence of the impact showed as a tire from Simonsen’s car rolled on the track while a door hung wide open. The race was held up for nearly an hour to repair the guardrail.

Simonsen’s death was the first driver fatality since 1997 when Sebastien Enjolras was killed in pre-qualifying. The last driver fatality during the race was Jo Gartner in 1986.

Simonsen was participating for the seventh time at the endurance race.

AP
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