Danish driver Allan Simonsen killed at start of Le Mans 24 hours race
Simonsen crashed heavily in his Aston Martin V8 Vantage
A Danish racing driver has died after a crash during the opening minutes of the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Allan Simonsen was contesting the GTE Am category in an Aston Martin when he crashed heavily at the Tertre Rouge less than 10 minutes in, race organisers Automobile Club de l'Ouest have confirmed.
The 34-year-old was immediately seen to by the race's medical team, but died later as a result of his injuries.
A statement from the organisers read: "In a serious condition, Allan Simonsen was transferred immediately to the Circuit Medical Centre where he died soon after due to his injuries," adding that David Richards, the principal of the Aston Martin Racing team, immediately broke the news to the driver's family.
It continued: "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.
"The Automobile Club de l'Ouest will make no further statement while the exact reasons for the accident are still being wholly determined."
An experienced Le Mans campaigner racing for the seventh time at La Sarthe, Simonsen was the Danish Formula Ford champion in 1999 and went on to race in Formula Palmer Audi and the British Formula Renault Championship before carving out a career in sports cars.
He won the 2007 Australian GT Championship and took class honours in the 2009 Asian Le Mans Series.
A second-placed finish in the GT2 class in 2010 marked Simonsen's best result at Le Mans, while in 2008 he stepped up to contest the prototype LMP2 class at the famous endurance race.
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Michel Platini will consider pulling England and other Uefa members out of the World Cup if Sepp Blatter wins Fifa president election
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
How to boycott Fifa - a football fan's guide
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote