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Allan Simonsen RIP


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#101 Paul Parker

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:08

A tree a few inches behind the armco. They don't budge. The roll cage was effectively split in half. Huge amount of energy going on in there, dreadful.

RIP Allan.


Thank you for the info Peat.

Given how they have turned the formerly forested Esses area into a desert why then are there trees adjacent to the armco elsewhere?

Of course this is motor racing and fatality levels are now thankfully very low but this inconsistency has cost a life, and apparently unnecessarily.

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#102 ensign14

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:16

Presumably they didn't think a car would go in perpendicularly at that spot? The armco being there to divert the cars away from the trees?

#103 Peat

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:19

The part you speak of is the permanent circuit, the part of the crash was where it meets the public roads. That avenue of trees is a symbol of La Sarthe, they won't go. What can be done is include more in the way of barriers infront of them.

Why wasn't there more barrier? Well, it's easy to see it was obviously dangerous after an accident. Where he hit was a way along from the corner so the hazrd was not seen. We must let the ACO investigate and take nessesary steps before we get too vocal.

#104 razno

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:27

The part you speak of is the permanent circuit, the part of the crash was where it meets the public roads. That avenue of trees is a symbol of La Sarthe, they won't go. What can be done is include more in the way of barriers infront of them.

Why wasn't there more barrier? Well, it's easy to see it was obviously dangerous after an accident. Where he hit was a way along from the corner so the hazrd was not seen. We must let the ACO investigate and take nessesary steps before we get too vocal.


In video on this page two car from Simonsen we can see how car lost control and in what angle it hit a barier/tree.

Edited by razno, 23 June 2013 - 10:28.


#105 J. Edlund

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 14:09

The part you speak of is the permanent circuit, the part of the crash was where it meets the public roads. That avenue of trees is a symbol of La Sarthe, they won't go. What can be done is include more in the way of barriers infront of them.

Why wasn't there more barrier? Well, it's easy to see it was obviously dangerous after an accident. Where he hit was a way along from the corner so the hazrd was not seen. We must let the ACO investigate and take nessesary steps before we get too vocal.


It would probably be a good idea to put up Tecpro barriers at that part of the circuit.

Tecpro barriers, developed in response to Schumachers crash on Silverstone in 1999 also provide better protection than tires used elsewhere on Le Mans, but I suppose it would be quite expensive to replace the old tire barriers.

#106 David M. Kane

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 14:27

Looking at the way his Aston twitched, I suspect a puncture or a break in the suspension or steering. Kicking the rear out is one thing - but a driver of his level would have reflex-corrected that no problem. The sudden dive to the left (which ended in the wall) is suspicious. I think something broke.

RIP...


Later in the race fellow Aston-Martin driver Makowieky suffered a similar accident. I respectfully think their was inherent handling problem coupled with the wet conditions.


#107 g1n

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 15:10

Posted Image

Not an obvious place to put tyre barriers...

#108 Risil

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 20:29

Reminds me a little bit of Joan Lascorz's testing accident at Imola last year. Well past corner exit, not remotely likely as a place to hit the barriers at speed. And yet he did.

Are the roads there marked with that special non-slippery-when-wet paint?

Edited by Risil, 23 June 2013 - 20:29.


#109 Barabas

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 20:32

RIP Allan Simonsen :cry:

What a freak accident
Problem at this point of the track is that it is exactly where the permanent track joins the road section.
The barriers there have to be removed after every practice session as the road needs to be used for regular traffic, so it can't be too heavy of massive.

Hope ACO figures out what exactly went wrong and takes adequate measures for next year


#110 DemCars

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 20:42

Still can't believe how people can be talking about "too safe" F1 when people are constantly dying on other race series. Like in this case, the crash does not look fatal in any way. Yet it is and it can happen.

Does it really take a death in F1, possibly even that of a star driver, for people to realize that this is still dangerous stuff?

#111 Rinehart

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 20:55

RIP Allan Simonsen :cry:

What a freak accident


My sentiments exactly.
A modern day racer, racing anything. I love that.
I think there was something freakish about it. Skewing off perpendicular to a barrier in the wet isn't especially unusual, but it just didn't seem to be a shunt of the magnitude or violence to make me think "oh heck" at the time as I watched it live. Given the shunts we've all seen over the years... I don't want to know or speculate, but perhaps there was a specific cause.

RIP Allan.

#112 Andrew Hope

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 20:58

Still can't believe how people can be talking about "too safe" F1 when people are constantly dying on other race series. Like in this case, the crash does not look fatal in any way. Yet it is and it can happen.

Does it really take a death in F1, possibly even that of a star driver, for people to realize that this is still dangerous stuff?


What "people"? Do you mean racing fans, or the people who don't know anything about racing until a crash is sufficiently fiery to make it onto the mainstream news?


#113 Rinehart

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 21:01

Still can't believe how people can be talking about "too safe" F1 when people are constantly dying on other race series. Like in this case, the crash does not look fatal in any way. Yet it is and it can happen.

Does it really take a death in F1, possibly even that of a star driver, for people to realize that this is still dangerous stuff?


As I'm nudging 40, I'm just about old enough to watch every race in the consciousness that something awful could happen. I agree we can always strive for greater safety, whilst we can never remove the danger entirely either. I'm sure there will be a legacy to this tragedy as there will be to the next one in F1. That's progress and rightfully so. But it can't be a billion tonnes of cotton wool.

#114 Myrvold

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 22:07

Still can't believe how people can be talking about "too safe" F1 when people are constantly dying on other race series. Like in this case, the crash does not look fatal in any way. Yet it is and it can happen.

Does it really take a death in F1, possibly even that of a star driver, for people to realize that this is still dangerous stuff?


People constantly dying in other race series?

#115 DemCars

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 22:19

People constantly dying in other race series?


Yes.

#116 Andrew Hope

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 22:23

Do you mean those series that are a lot more dangerous than F1? For example, all of them?

#117 Myrvold

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 22:23

Yes.


And I can see the examples are flying around here :)

#118 DemCars

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 22:42

Do you mean those series that are a lot more dangerous than F1? For example, all of them?


I don't know, fastest open wheel cars in the world seem like a dangerous concept for me. Maybe not oval dangerous, but still. The difference is that there are only 20 race weekends a year, so the chances to get killed are slimmer. But there have been close calls, such as Kubica, Massa and Schumacher (Abu Dhabi 2010). Maybe next time after the bad looking crash the driver won't just walk away. There is also always a chance for a freak accident.

Just because we haven't had deaths in nearly 20 years has made some people maybe unaware of the lurking dangers. I have seen the safety been brought up a couple of times on the forums such as "is F1 too safe" which is ludicrous.

And to the other guy, by constantly I mean couple every year. It seems like a lot to me when we are talking about people who were forced to stop living.

#119 Myrvold

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 22:52

I don't know, fastest open wheel cars in the world seem like a dangerous concept for me. Maybe not oval dangerous, but still. The difference is that there are only 20 race weekends a year, so the chances to get killed are slimmer. But there have been close calls, such as Kubica, Massa and Schumacher (Abu Dhabi 2010). Maybe next time after the bad looking crash the driver won't just walk away. There is also always a chance for a freak accident.

Just because we haven't had deaths in nearly 20 years has made some people maybe unaware of the lurking dangers. I have seen the safety been brought up a couple of times on the forums such as "is F1 too safe" which is ludicrous.

And to the other guy, by constantly I mean couple every year. It seems like a lot to me when we are talking about people who were forced to stop living.


Ah, now I understand you. Even though I don't agree 100%, I agree enough to not keep on in this thread :)

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#120 Andrew Hope

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 23:08

I don't know, fastest open wheel cars in the world seem like a dangerous concept for me. Maybe not oval dangerous, but still. The difference is that there are only 20 race weekends a year, so the chances to get killed are slimmer. But there have been close calls, such as Kubica, Massa and Schumacher (Abu Dhabi 2010). Maybe next time after the bad looking crash the driver won't just walk away. There is also always a chance for a freak accident.

Just because we haven't had deaths in nearly 20 years has made some people maybe unaware of the lurking dangers. I have seen the safety been brought up a couple of times on the forums such as "is F1 too safe" which is ludicrous.

And to the other guy, by constantly I mean couple every year. It seems like a lot to me when we are talking about people who were forced to stop living.


The people who were forced to stop living were not forced to do the thing that killed them. No one accidentally becomes a racing driver. They are playing a dangerous game, one which compensates them with fame and money a tremendous rush when they are behind the wheel. Sometimes, the game asks you to pay a price for playing, and occasionally this price is your life. Everyone who has ever been behind the wheel of a race car understands and accepts this, and any fan who doesn't know this hasn't been paying enough attention. F1 has the money to make itself safer than any other kind of racing and it has the prestige to force tracks to butcher themselves with miles of runoff to accommodate them. I agree with your main point but I would be careful referring to other series as if they were all blood sports. Formula 1 may be the most well-known form of racing in the world and on a road course it is the fastest, but it is by also wide margin the safest and I think it's an unfair measuring stick to compare other series to.


#121 jj2728

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 23:17

Does it really take a death in F1, possibly even that of a star driver, for people to realize that this is still dangerous stuff?


If people don't realize that this is a dangerous sport and not a 'playstation' game then they are sadly mis-informed.

#122 Skinnyguy

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 23:18

The people who were forced to stop living were not forced to do the thing that killed them. No one accidentally becomes a racing driver. They are playing a dangerous game, one which compensates them with fame and money a tremendous rush when they are behind the wheel. Sometimes, the game asks you to pay a price for playing, and occasionally this price is your life. Everyone who has ever been behind the wheel of a race car understands and accepts this, and any fan who doesn't know this hasn't been paying enough attention. F1 has the money to make itself safer than any other kind of racing and it has the prestige to force tracks to butcher themselves with miles of runoff to accommodate them. I agree with your main point but I would be careful referring to other series as if they were all blood sports. Formula 1 may be the most well-known form of racing in the world and on a road course it is the fastest, but it is by also wide margin the safest and I think it's an unfair measuring stick to compare other series to.


His point was that motorsport must keep working to make things like this more and more unlikely. And he´s spot on. I´ll add that the efforts should be proactive and not wait and react until a freak accident exposes the safety flaws still around.

No need to butcher tracks, making an extra effort, things like not forgetting about places where an impact is unlikely but possible doesn´t even affect the layout and can help.

#123 Meanstreak

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 00:37

Amateur video showing the crash, quite far away and slightly blocked view (i.e. not graphic or anything):

http://www.youtube.c...VpzKqCLBE#t=65s

Edited by Meanstreak, 24 June 2013 - 00:40.


#124 noikeee

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:15

I was coming to post the same video - the news there is that not only the Ferrari spun ahead of him (which we already knew from the Corvette onboards), but also a LMP car a few seconds earlier. That curb seemed particularly tricky that lap for whatever reason, be it oil or just the fact the paint was wet.

#125 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:10

Very sad. I had a bad feeling when I saw the crash live. Apart from the general worry that's always there when a crash brings out the safety car and the driver doesn't immidiately climb out of the wreckage, there were some early signs that this might be particularly bad. The body language of the marshalls attending to the scene weren't encouraging - and the fact that one of the doors had come off suggested a particularly violent impact.

The accident itself is slightly puzzling. I was watching the live broadcast together with my wife (who's no motor racing expert to say the least) and at that point there had been no replays from the on-board cameras. Her theory was that something had happened to Simonsen (eg heart attack), and before watching the on-board replays I thought that was a plausible explanation. Such a violent crash at Tertre Rouge just didn't seem right. Then the first videos from on-board cameras of the following cars cropped up and that theory could be scrapped. At that point my thought was driver error. A classic case of over-correcting oversteer. But as atleast two other cars spun at the exact same place on the exact same lap, "driver error" seems a bit too simplistic. What are the odds for three drivers making errors independent of each other at a relatively simple corner on the exact same lap if no other factors are involved?

Two questions:

* Has it been confirmed that he hit a tree behind the barrier or was that just a rumour? From the video posted a few posts above it doesn't seem like that.
* There have been a number of posts suggesting that the driver side on his Vantage was on the left side. Does anyone know this for sure? On the swedish broadcast the commentators claimed that the driver was positioned on the right side (ie the side that impacted the barrier).

Edited by Rediscoveryx, 24 June 2013 - 02:13.


#126 LB

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:19

I'm going to be quite callous here:

I've seen people die in motorsport in real life (note the plural) I've seen them die on tv (many). I'm forty I grew up with it.. I've also seen people die on the football pitch on tv, (three though one was revived ) I've seen them die at work (dangerous job :s). I've seen people die in real life on the street.. There is one fact in life, we aren't immortal. It doesn't make it easier I know. Allen Simonsen has been on my motorsport radar for years I can remember him from lower formulae back in the late 90's through to his exploits in australia and british GT. I knew of him very little except he was Danish and a pretty competent driver that found a living in a sport we all love.

However he knew the risks. Nobody steps into a racing car without knowing they might not step out of it. Hell none of us really step into a car on the roads knowing that we might not step out of it, least I hope we do. I know I drive like much less of an idiot when I have passengers and I hope we all do. The safety advances that have prevailed through motorsport are fantastic. Off the top of your head name all the drives killed since Senna in 1994. ok maybe four or five for most casual fans Earnhardt is a given, Wheldon, Simonsen, Enjoras cos his tragic death is in the news today as the last, maybe Greg Moore or Gonzalo Rodriguez. Ok name some in the 19 years before Senna, I could get to fifteen to twenty before even trying to think...1975 -1994 Peterson, Villeneuve, Smiley (keep forgetting they were the same week!), Depailler, Bellof, Paletti, Ratzenberger, Gartner, Bonnett, Albers, Toivanen, Denny Hulme, Burgmann. Paul Warwick, De Angelis,Jock taylor, Pryce and van vuuren etc etc. Motor racing is dangerous. Hell spectating is dangerous, I saw a wheel go into the stand at Daytona this year. BUT and its a huge BUT, its getting safer, great strides are being taken to improve safety at tracks and in the stands. There is far more racing these days than ever before and it IS safer than ever before.

On the accident, I'll be interested in the report, even if he did hit a tree he should have been alright, he had hans on (I hope) which should have stopped bsf's. I can only guess that something came in the car., but i don't know, Everything is speculation right now. My condolances go to his family and team.


#127 FLB

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:53

A classic case of over-correcting oversteer. But as atleast two other cars spun at the exact same place on the exact same lap, "driver error" seems a bit too simplistic. What are the odds for three drivers making errors independent of each other at a relatively simple corner on the exact same lap if no other factors are involved?

To me, that's the big revelation of the video posted above. I already knew about the spinning Ferrari, but not about the P2. There definitely must have been something on the curb or the track.


#128 Brother Fox

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:12

RIP.



#129 Afterburner

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:43

Really cool to see all the tributes to Simonsen on Forza 4's storefront... some awesome stuff there, and an amazing show of support.

RIP

#130 Jeeves

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:59

The accident itself is slightly puzzling. I was watching the live broadcast together with my wife (who's no motor racing expert to say the least) and at that point there had been no replays from the on-board cameras. Her theory was that something had happened to Simonsen (eg heart attack), and before watching the on-board replays I thought that was a plausible explanation. Such a violent crash at Tertre Rouge just didn't seem right. Then the first videos from on-board cameras of the following cars cropped up and that theory could be scrapped. At that point my thought was driver error. A classic case of over-correcting oversteer. But as atleast two other cars spun at the exact same place on the exact same lap, "driver error" seems a bit too simplistic. What are the odds for three drivers making errors independent of each other at a relatively simple corner on the exact same lap if no other factors are involved?


It was an unlucky crash with sad consequences, but I really don't see anything mysterious about the loss of control over the car. I remember someone mentioning during the broadcast (quite possibly Radio Le Mans commentary) that at the track borders were newly painted for this years event, though I don't know if they do it for every year. The two spins that occur before are just an indication of how slippery the painted stuff is under rainy conditions.

IMO Simonsen corrects the slide correctly, but then runs out of the painted surface and the front end grips rapidly. If my memory serves, the #99 Aston and the #13 Rebellion lost control and crashed in a similar way, with only the Rebellion being able to continue.

RIP

Edited by Jeeves, 24 June 2013 - 05:59.


#131 LB

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:54

I agree, there is nothing really suspicious about the crash, he ran wide, got on the slippy stuff, corrected it and ran out of track.

#132 Woody3says

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:07

The track border had been freshly repainted after the test week, yes.

Gianmaria Bruni replied to John Dagy's article on twitter that "my team mate spin there too but in that moment was raining..."

Cars spinning ahead, correction to avoid, track freshly wet, painted surface, just a horible accumulation of events. HANS or not, massive decelleration will never be good for the human body.

#133 Jackmancer

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:08

The track border had been freshly repainted after the test week, yes.

Gianmaria Bruni replied to John Dagy's article on twitter that "my team mate spin there too but in that moment was raining..."

Cars spinning ahead, correction to avoid, track freshly wet, painted surface, just a horible accumulation of events. HANS or not, massive decelleration will never be good for the human body.


Yeah, and if he'd been on the other side of the car he might have been fine (probably), but it's a British car so he was in the right side of the car, right? That side was hit hardest :(

#134 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:19

Yeah, and if he'd been on the other side of the car he might have been fine (probably), but it's a British car so he was in the right side of the car, right? That side was hit hardest :(



The Aston Martin is left hand drive just for your information. Just like all the other GT's in the race.

#135 derstatic

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:45

Very sad news!

There must be something freakish about this because from the - albeit not very good footage it doesn't look like a fatal crash. If the driver indeed sits on the left, is harnessed and wearing HANS this looks to be a survivable accident. Sadly that doesn't change the fate of Simonsen but can hopefully prevent further deaths in the future. I've seen much worse looking crashes where the drivers walked away with nothing more than bruises.

#136 ANF

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:08

Has there been any reports on what kind of injuries he sustained?

#137 Jackmancer

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:15

Very sad news!

There must be something freakish about this because from the - albeit not very good footage it doesn't look like a fatal crash. If the driver indeed sits on the left, is harnessed and wearing HANS this looks to be a survivable accident. Sadly that doesn't change the fate of Simonsen but can hopefully prevent further deaths in the future. I've seen much worse looking crashes where the drivers walked away with nothing more than bruises.


True.
Maybe something pierced the cockpit? Like the Kubica incident.

#138 Lotusseven

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:26

Has there been any reports on what kind of injuries he sustained?


Dr. James Norman´s blog:

Although we do not know the actual cause of death of Alan Simonson at yesterday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, reports are that he was conscious and talking when rescue workers first tended to him, only to have him become unconscious a few moments later, to be pronounced dead a short time later. He was driving in one of the most modern sedan-type cars (not open-cockpit) and his factory sponsored Aston Martin had every possible modern piece of safety equipment. This in car video from the car behind shows the likely cause (our opinion) of Allan’s crash was acceleration of the car while the left rear tire was on the painted (and very slick in the wet) blue line. There was no evidence of penetrating injuries, and no evidence of blunt force trauma. Thus the likely cause of this terrible tragedy is almost certainly to be related to a sudden deceleration injury, either to the brain, or to the aorta.

blog.parathyroid.com



#139 Rinehart

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:35

I agree, there is nothing really suspicious about the crash, he ran wide, got on the slippy stuff, corrected it and ran out of track.


I think there is nothing suspicious about the crash. The kerbs were slippery from... rain.
I still think its very surprising that he died though.

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#140 ANF

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:43

Dr. James Norman´s blog:

Although we do not know the actual cause of death of Alan Simonson at yesterday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, reports are that he was conscious and talking when rescue workers first tended to him, only to have him become unconscious a few moments later, to be pronounced dead a short time later. He was driving in one of the most modern sedan-type cars (not open-cockpit) and his factory sponsored Aston Martin had every possible modern piece of safety equipment. This in car video from the car behind shows the likely cause (our opinion) of Allan’s crash was acceleration of the car while the left rear tire was on the painted (and very slick in the wet) blue line. There was no evidence of penetrating injuries, and no evidence of blunt force trauma. Thus the likely cause of this terrible tragedy is almost certainly to be related to a sudden deceleration injury, either to the brain, or to the aorta.

blog.parathyroid.com

Thank you. Seems like a plausible explanation.

#141 cheesy poofs

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:48

The impact against the barriers was severe enough that the tree behind it was damaged.

http://instagram.com/p/a8VljRp5eI/

Edited by cheesy poofs, 24 June 2013 - 13:07.


#142 Arska

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 13:00

The impact against the barriers was severe enough that the tree behind it was damaged.


The amateur video also shows that the fence he hit had no tires or other protection and that it was a very hard impact. In my opinion the likelihood of injury in such a crash is reasonably high.

edit: as far as I know, Hans device works best with frontal impacts and this was a sideways collision, the worst scenario for it.

Edited by Arska, 24 June 2013 - 13:03.


#143 karne

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 14:19

I'm a bit confused by all the people talking about HANS devices. HANS is completely useless except in a proper front-on crash. Which this was not. It doesn't stop sideways movement of the head, and while it might restrict diagonal movement slightly, it wouldn't completely stop it. Plus, no device in the world is going to stop the brain rattling around.


May Allen rest in peace. Hope the great race track in the sky is fun.

Edited by karne, 24 June 2013 - 14:20.


#144 TC3000

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 14:54

The amateur video also shows that the fence he hit had no tires or other protection and that it was a very hard impact. In my opinion the likelihood of injury in such a crash is reasonably high.

edit: as far as I know, Hans device works best with frontal impacts and this was a sideways collision, the worst scenario for it.


Yes, you are right, HANS is not the most effective in a side impact, and even has the potential to cause injuries, if not properly adjusted.
It's the "ears" on the seat that are meant to protect/support the head in this situation, and lessen the impact deceleration.

A sideways impact is often more "dangerous" then a head on or backwards impact.
The crash sadly reminded me a lot on the Ashley Cooper crash during the Clipsal 500 in 2008 - side impact against a "solid" object with the opposite side of the car (In V8SC's the driver sits on the RHS).
The Cooper crash didn't look fatal at the time too - but it was.

Sometimes, unfortunately it doesn't take much, to cause fatal injury.
I have seen a rally car crash, were the car hit a tree head on, you still could open the doors on the car normally, nothing "broke" or intruded the car.
The driver survived nearly uninjured, the co-driver died from internal bleedings, caused by a ruptured arterial from the deceleration of the inner organs.
Unfortunately, these things still can happen, and there is limited scope of what one can do about it.
We humans are fragile and not immortal, even so that sometimes we get this impression, and think that we are "on top" of the safety side of things.



#145 Rinehart

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 15:12

Unfortunately, these things still can happen, and there is limited scope of what one can do about it.


The main one seems to be deformable structures that cushion the blow. On the long public part of the Le Mans track, that would be a fundamental, non-traditional and expensive implementation. But if the speculation about the cause is correct, I'd expect to see a few strategically placed walls of tyres at a few identified spots around the track - representing learning and improvement for 2014.



#146 midgrid

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 15:20

This incident should serve as a reminder that, although safe cars, HANS, and barrier technology have all made us somewhat accustomed to expecting a driver to emerge unharmed from a high-speed impact, when one of these elements is lacking the consequences can be severe. Hopefully the ACO can improve the barriers at that part of the circuit for next year's race.

reports are that he was conscious and talking when rescue workers first tended to him, only to have him become unconscious a few moments later, to be pronounced dead a short time later.


I hope he wasn't in too much pain and wasn't overly aware that he was about to die, if these reports are true. This is what makes you understand why people say that a quick or instantaneous death is merciful. RIP Allan Simonsen. :(

#147 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 15:46

This accident shows once more that racing is dangerous. We have come from far and made it way safer than it used to be.
With this accident and those of Henry Surtees, Dan Wheldon and others it looks like we still have to rule out the freak accidents, which is difficult if not impossible.

This corner area was redone some 5 years ago. Widened further and painted. In the old days those trees were also there, but without any Armco or fences as protection. A miracle not more happened there.
It may be questioned if there was any influence from the fact that the race track ends here and the public part starts. It may come to light in the research.

In all a shock for everyone. Horror scenario for the AM jubilee. A test for all commercial parties in handling this.

#148 TC3000

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 15:52

The main one seems to be deformable structures that cushion the blow. On the long public part of the Le Mans track, that would be a fundamental, non-traditional and expensive implementation. But if the speculation about the cause is correct, I'd expect to see a few strategically placed walls of tyres at a few identified spots around the track - representing learning and improvement for 2014.


I agree with you Rinehart, and my comment wasn't meant to say "well that's just life, nothing we can do about", it was in relation to the rally car crash and it's consequences.
While this crash was survivable for one person, it wasn't for the other - where to we "draw the line", in terms of limits (deceleration etc.).
Even with the best intent and effort, you/we will never be able to account for all variables and circumstances, a bit different angle, could have made all the difference, and the guy would have walked a way from it, as many other did.

I'm sure that ACO and others will look at this, and take the lessons learned on board, and that is how it should be. I didn't mean to say, that nothing can/should be done about it. But at the same time, we shouldn't think, that we can prevent all serious consequences from happening. It's still a dangerous sport, and the people participating in it, are aware of it, and accept it as part of the challenge.
And it is the challenge, that makes up part of the legacy/legend of Le Mans, Spa, Nürburgring and other places.
Some people still go onto a bike, and participate in the TT, even so, that they know that it is a pretty dangerous race/place.
But there is satisfaction in mastering a difficult task, and this motivates/drives some people to do it, they want to master the challenge.
And to me this is a right, which everyone should be able to exercise for himself, if he choses to do so. If we talk about public transport etc. , that's a different matter.
Being it racing in Le Mans, Dakar or other places or jumping with a parachute from the fringes of space.

As for possible improvements to the track.
We have seen the car coming back across the track after the impact, the likelihood of this happening would increase with a tyre barrier, so it's not such a straight forward argument - IMO.
A car spinning back across the track, especially at night, and being hit by another car on the driver side etc. has it's dangers too.
I'm not qualified to make a assessment of all the pro and cons, but I'm sure other people are, and that there input will be taken into consideration, so that a good overall compromise can be found.

In parting, maybe we should leave this threat as a place to bid our farewell to Allan, and move the rest of the discussion to another thread.
It's a valid argument and could/should be discussed, but maybe this is not the best/right place to do so.

R.I.P. - Allan & thank you for the memories


#149 byrkus

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 15:57

Those reportes remind me of death of Mark Donohue, back in '75 at Österreichring.

Quoting Wiki: "During a practice session for the race, Donohue lost control of his March after a tire failed, sending him careening into the catch fencing at the fastest corner on the track, Voëst-Hugel. A track marshal was killed by debris from the accident, but Donohue did not appear to be injured significantly. It is said that Donohue's head struck either a catch fencing post or the bottom of the wood frame for an advertising billboard located alongside of the racetrack. A headache resulted, however, and worsened. After going to the hospital of Graz the next day, Donohue lapsed into a coma from a cerebral hemorrhage and died."

No matter how safe the tracks and cars are, human bodies still have their own limits of possibilities...


By the way, I think it was especially nice gesture that there wasn't any champagne at the podium. Or at least I didn't see any. Even Tom Kristensen found no real reason for being happy...

#150 Victor_RO

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 17:08

By the way, I think it was especially nice gesture that there wasn't any champagne at the podium. Or at least I didn't see any. Even Tom Kristensen found no real reason for being happy...


The bottles were there, but the LMP1 drivers (at least) walked away from the podium without even touching them. Not sure about the other classes, I started walking back towards Tertre Rouge after the overall podium.