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Jonathan Palmer pays tribute to Allan Simonsen

Tuesday, June 25 2013

MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer has paid tribute to Allan Simonsen, who succumbed to serious injuries sustained during the opening laps of the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend.

Allan was competing in his seventh Le Mans and his second with Aston Martin. Just a couple of days earlier he had qualified on pole position for the GTE-Am class and was leading the category when his Vantage left the road at Tertre Rouge.

A vastly experienced GT driver despite his relatively young age, Allan competed across the world in various championships, including Australian V8 Supercars, Le Mans Series and the British GT Championship, where his reputation as a fearsome competitor was often witnessed by fans at MSV's Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Snetterton circuits. Before this he had competed in several single seater categories at the turn of the century, including Formula Palmer Audi.

Palmer said: "Like so many, I was stunned to hear that Allan Simonsen had lost his life early in this year's Le Mans 24 Hour race. I first met Allan when he was one of the Team Brask drivers in Formula Palmer Audi in 2000.  He was clearly very quick, very determined but also such a nice guy. I was thrilled for him when he won for the first time at Magny Cours that year. 

"Allan's talent was clear in whatever he drove and he became a highly sought after top driver in GT cars, leading to his recruitment for Aston Martin at Le Mans this year. When I saw Allan at our circuits for British GT events, it was always nice catching up for a chat.

"Allan was also hugely popular with us at Bedford Autodrome, where he instructed on our PalmerSport corporate events for many years - and indeed he was one of the very best. His brother Benny has continued to be a regular PalmerSport instructor.

"Our deepest sympathies go to Allan's family who have lost a lovely person at the top of his game in what seems to be a rather extraordinary, freak accident."

Allan Simonsen will be remembered at the Aston Martin Centenary Meeting at Brands Hatch on 6/7 July. Details will be confirmed here in due course.