Le Mans R.I.P. Allan Simonsen, 1978-2013


Rooters Reporter
Allan Simonsen

Allan was born in Odense, Denmark. His death on the third lap cast a shadow over the 90th running of 24 Heures du Le Mans so it was fitting that Tom Kristensen the winners should dedicate their victories to his memory. Many of Allan's family were present at the event and backed the Aston Martin team in their decision to race on as a tribute. On the podium fellow Dane, Kristensen dedicated his team's victory to Allan's memory, reinforcing a message that in the face of tragedy life must go on.

All an Simonsen is probably better known to Australian motorsport fans but he was no stranger to European GT racing or Le Mans. This year was his seventh appearance at (arguably) the premier endurance motor race, having driven a total of 1,143 racing laps of the La Sarthe circuit. In 2007, with co-drivers Pierre Ehret and Lars-Erik Nielsen in the Farnbacher Racing Porsche 997GT3, he came home 3rd in the GT3 class. In 2010, alongside Dominik Farnbacher and Christian Monanari, he took the Farnbacher Ferrari F430 GT2 to 12th place overall and 2nd in the GT2 class.

Allan began racing in karts, taking up car racing in 1999 winning that years' Danish Formula Ford Championship driving a Van Diemen RF99. In 2000 he competed in Formula Palmer Audi finishing 11th in the championship. After competing in the British GT championship driving a Ferrari 360 he went on to race one in the 2003 Australian Nations Championship, taking a creditable 8th place in the championship that year. From then he went on to race in several Oz series including GT, V8 Supercars and Utes championships, but his career got really busy as he competed in European championships as well.

In 2006 he campaigned Ferrari F430 GT3's in both the FIA GT3 European and FIA GT championships (GT2 class), jetting back and forth to Oz for the Australian GT Championship (driving a Ferrari 360) and V8 Supercar series (in a Ford Falcon). Winning the Australian GT Championship in 2007 and with his debut at Le Mans, Allan was building a reputation as one of the most versatile drivers of the modern era. The attached table of his career statistics is testimony that he did just that, with so much promise to achieve even more.

There is much more I could write but I'll leave it there other than to say that his passing at just 34 years of age is a tragedy and a great loss to motor sport.

R.I.P Allan Simonsen, 1978-2013

Allan Simonsen Career Stat's.jpg
I can only echo what GC says above. I was aware of him from the Aussie V8s, but this was the first time I'd settled down to watch Le Mans live, and was really looking forward to it. The crash looked fairly innoccuous, but it seems one of the large trees on the left as the cars turn on to Mulsanne was right up close to the barrier and took a hit from the car side-on. Really bad luck as half a metre either side he would probably have walked away.

I ended up watching about 17 hours of the race, and despite the many safety cars, it was brilliant to watch, but sadly marred by a tragic accident - I was willing the last remaining Aston to win it's class, but a tyre mix-up and safety car timing gave it to the Porsche....... I would fully expect major changes to Tertre Rouge for next year. Either a few trees will go or the barrier will be moved. The barriers themselves seem to be a bit antiquated compared to those in F1, so a major rethink may be needed.
If they get Tilke involved in any way, I will never watch Le Mans again, as there will be acres of tarmac everywhere.
Not a driver I was aware of until today but thanks Fenderman for filling in the blanks. A sad day for motor racing but he did go out doing what he loved. Put a bit of a cloud over the race and Tom Kristensen looked gutted at the end. Make you think how bad Simonsen's family must be feeling.

If they get Tilke involved in any way, I will never watch Le Mans again, as there will be acres of tarmac everywhere.

To be fair, most of Le Mans is isn't too bad from a safety point. The Mulsanne chicanes - hideous as they are, are necessary, as was planing off the inclines where Dumbreck and Webber launched. The gravel traps work, and the tarmac bits also do in general. Simonsen's accident happened at a tarmacced area, but the problem was the tree being directly behind the Armco, not allowing it to deflect and absorb the energy.

If Tilke gets involved it will be 1.5 miles around, half a mile of which will be part of Mulsanne with a hairpin at the end. The racing will be crap and the leader will complete half a million laps, with Kobayashi's Toyota Aygo 250,000 laps behind.
I must confess that I was only vaguely aware of Simonsen, and that through the V8 series in my beloved homeland. My sympathy and condolences to his family, who can take some small comfort in the knowledge that he died doing something that he loved.
Fenderman I "liked" your post for the sentiment of course, and not for the subject matter...

I was unaware of Allan Simonsen before last weekend and, thanks to Fenderman's post, I am now aware of his achievements...

R.I.P. Allan Simonsen
Thanks folks for the acknowledgements which I naturally appreciate.

Just a quick couple of notes - one to reassure members and one to ask a favour:

I don't expect "Likes" in such circumstances. Whether to "like" a post or not is always difficult at times like this. However, if I receive a like then I always take it that the "like" is a 'seconding' of the message rather than a congratulatory thumbs up. That is also the spirit with which I occasionally "like" posts in similar circumstances.

I wish to ask a favour of future contributors to this thread I would appreciate if posts here are confined to messages of respect for Allan and celebration of his life and achievements. If a discussion on safety issues is desired I'm sure we can take that to a dedicated thread (although admit that I quite agree with siffert_fan and Dario Resta ...).


Fenderman's excellent tribute illustrates the diversity of cars and championships that Allan was involved in. Passion for motorsport in all forms shines out from a list such as that.

Like many, I suppose, his was a name I recognised but he was not a driver I was familiar with. Undoubtedly some good will come from the events of Saturday afternoon but, alas, too late. RIP.
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