Although motorsports is an inherently dangerous undertaking, it's still a shock and tragedy when a driver is killed pursuing his or her passion. After a more than decade-long streak without a fatality, the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans unfortunately claimed its first life with the death of Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen. The crash happened at 3:02 pm Central European Time on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at the track's Tertre Rouge corner.
Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw issued a statement, saying, "On behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Racing, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the individuals, and families whose friends or loved ones were involved in today's terrible tragedy."
Simonsen's family has been notified of his passing, and at their request, Aston Martin will continue competing at Le Mans, where the company has four other vehicles competing in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes.
The last driver to lose his life at Le Mans was Sebastien Enjolras in 1997 in pre-qualifying. The last driver to die as a result of injuries sustained during the main race was Jo Gartner in 1986. The worst crash in Le Mans history was in 1955 when Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz left the track and flew into the crowd, killing more than 80 spectators.
Source: The Detroit News, Aston Martin