Aston Martin racing driver Allan Simonsen has been killed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans racing event after the car he was driving was involved in a high speed crash and spun off the track.
The Vantage GTE being driven by the 34-year-old hit a safety barrier on Saturday June 22, demolishing the car shortly after the start of the race at the Tertre Rouge bend.
The Dane, part of the Aston Martin racing team and who was racing at the endurance event for the seventh time, was reported to be awake and talking with medics, but was taken to the circuit medical centre where he later died.
The cause of the crash in north west France is being investigated.
Aston Martin Racing managing director, John Gaw, said: “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 this terrible tragedy.”
A statement issued by Aston Martin Racing said: “Tragically, and despite the best efforts of the emergency services in attendance, Allan’s injuries proved fatal.”
It added that at the specific request of Mr Simonsen’s family, the team would continue to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in tribute to him.
It went on to say the team would not be making any further comment until the circumstances of the accident had been determined.
A spokesman for the Le Mans organisers said: “In a serious condition, Allan Simonsen was transferred immediately to the circuit medical centre where he died soon after due to his injuries.
“The Automobile Club de l’Ouest wishes to express its great sadness following this incident, and extends its deepest condolences to the family and those close to Allan Simonsen.”
Mr Simonsen is the first driver to die at the event since 1997, when Sebastien Enjolras was killed in an accident during pre-qualifying heats.