So recently the Le Mans 24hr race has finished and Porsche won and congratulations to the them, but I write this in celebration to an amazing Man, who unfortunately passed away whilst racing in the 24hr race a couple of years ago, his name was Allan Simonsen, whilst racing for Aston Martin, accidents are an unfortunate part of motorsport, but from my viewing I could see he took avoiding action to save another driver. This was and is a true testament to the man.
I remember arriving in Belgium a couple of years before, working for Aston Martin and being tasked with looking after the welfare of the drivers and team for the FIA GT 24hr race of SPA. A few weeks beforehand I sat down and was reading through the schedule of events and nutritional requirements of the drivers and then sat about planning the event and how I could help the drivers and team, once i had planned this and it was all signed off I was ready to go.
I boarded a plane from Birmingham Airport and arrived in Belgium a while later. I got picked up by the team and drove to the circuit. I met the drivers and team I was going to look after, having spoke to them on the phone, it was good to put faces to names and voices, having had a few telephone conversations. As I type this I am smiling, not in glee, but more in happiness of meeting Allan, he had this infectious smile and would kid about and laugh, but was the most professional driver I have had the privilege of meeting. When I talked to him you felt so relaxed, yet happy and just generally chilled. I remember sitting with him and his smile was one of the most exhilarating things, especially whilst being at Spa, if any of you have been there, the weather sucks sometimes and rains a lot, but you felt like you had known him for years. In the car he was a demon, the team was under pressure whilst practicing and qualifying, but he would get in the car and put together an amazing lap. I remember he would always have a Red Bull with him and if the stories are true as it definitely gave him wings. Through out the 24hr race his laps were consistent, becoming better and better each lap. I was thinking how can you be doing this, when he pitted he would swap over with a driver and then we would all sit in the garage and study the lap times whilst laughing and didn't look like he had been driving for the last two hours. The team finished in the top 5 from what I remember, but after all had packed up and gone home. I remember thinking how he was such a great person.
To Allan wherever you may be, we celebrate you, your achievements and your life. Your brother Benny is carrying you with him, whilst he races and he has the exact same spirit as you. Your passing and amazing smile will never be forgotten, but we can only try to emulate you. Much Love to you Benny, it was a privilege Allan.
Motorsport will always be dangerous, that is one of the reasons we are attracted to it as human beings, but we can try and make it as safe as possible, but there will always be the unpredictable, which we can't anticipate. The drivers/riders are and always will be warriors in the cars/bikes. For me we can only remember and relish theses warriors.