Skip to content

GRAND-AM driver provides medical analysis of driver deaths

Jun 24, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

FRA-AUTO-LEMANS Getty Images

One of the best pieces published following Allan Simonsen’s fatal accident Saturday at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was done by Dr. Jim Norman, a parathyroid surgeon and racer in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Norman and fellow surgeon Dr. Jim Lowe, a neurosurgeon who has also competed in GRAND-AM, have published an extensive list of the medical terms that have caused fatal injuries to racing drivers. The article is published in the Parathyroid blog of Norman’s website, parathyroid.com.

An official cause of death for Simonsen’s accident has not yet been determined. However, Norman estimates the likely cause is related to a sudden deceleration injury, either to the brain or aorta. An excerpt below:

Although we do not know the actual cause of death of Allan Simonsen 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. 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.

Video of Simonsen’s accident has been hard to find, but what is known is that Dane lost control of his Aston Martin at the 100 mph-plus right-hand kink called Tertre Rouge. The car snapped across and contacted the Armco barrier on the corner exit; a tree is right behind at that part of the course.

Although the article is long, considering the medical expertise Norman and Lowe have and the fact they have entered the world of sports car racing, the full piece is a must-read.

Latest Posts
  1. ARCA: Justin Allison continues family tradition, wins at Pocono

    Aug 1, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    ARCA_logo

    The next generation of stock car racing’s fabled Alabama Gang has now officially arrived.

  2. NASCAR: Pistone, Gaughan go P1 in Nationwide practice at Iowa

    Aug 1, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT

    Ollie's Bargain Outlet 250 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Chase Pistone tops Practice 1, while Brendan Gaughan is fastest in Practice 2 for tomorrow night’s Nationwide Series race.

  3. Jeff Gordon rolling along, but still keeping an eye on his back

    Aug 1, 2014, 8:08 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    The Sprint Cup championship leader admits that his back may never “be the same” after suffering spasms in May at Charlotte.

  4. NASCAR: John Wes Townley out of tomorrow’s Truck race after ARCA crash

    Aug 1, 2014, 7:11 PM EDT

    UNOH 225 Getty Images

    Townley has been released from a local hospital after a hard wreck in ARCA qualifying this morning, but he will not race in tomorrow’s Pocono Mountains 150 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

  5. NASCAR AMERICA: Friday Round-Up (VIDEO)

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Will the 11 team adapt to interim crew chief Mike Wheeler? Plus, Kyle Petty shares his Victory Lane predictions for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono.

  6. Will Kahne be able once again at Pocono? (VIDEO)

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    One year ago, Kahne effectively put himself into the Chase with a win at Pocono. Another win on Sunday at the Tricky Triangle could do it again.

  7. Kyle Larson bags first career Sprint Cup pole at Pocono

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Is his first career Sprint Cup win not too far off? Larson’s lap of 183.438 mph is enough to earn pole position for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400.

  8. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Coming up today: Kasey Kahne on his hunt for a Chase-clinching win; expectations for Denny Hamlin’s interim crew chief; Dale Jr. and IndyCar’s Graham Rahal visit National Guard soldiers; the many nuances of Pocono Raceway; Ty Dillon looks back on an extraordinary weekend at Indy.

  9. NASCAR: Kyle Larson, Timothy Peters tops in Pocono Truck practice

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:43 PM EDT

    Kyle Larson AP

    Larson and Peters go 1-2 in the first Truck practice, then flip-flop in the second practice at Pocono.

  10. NASCAR AMERICA Minute: What makes Pocono unique? (VIDEO)

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 Getty Images

    Former Pocono winner Kyle Petty explains the aspects that set Pocono apart from the rest of NASCAR’s tracks.

  11. Bourdais on top in second IndyCar practice

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT

    Sebastien Bourdais AP

    Toronto winner leads second practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series on Friday.

  12. Kenseth: Not having crew chief at track is like “missing your head coach”

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Kenseth’s teammate, Denny Hamlin, does not have regular crew chief Darian Grubb behind him this weekend, as Grubb has begun serving his six-race suspension.

  13. F1 2014 mid-season report: The story so far and the story to come

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Austria F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    In the final part of our 2014 mid-season review, we look at the storylines that have defined the season so far and take a look at what we may be talking about come the end of the year.

  14. Dale Jr., Johnson looking forward to working with Greg Ives in 2015

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    GregIvesCrop Getty Images

    Ives has won multiple Sprint Cup titles as an engineer for Jimmie Johnson, but will be making his Cup debut as a crew chief when he joins forces with Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season.

  15. Study: NASCAR drivers, CEOs share similar talents

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    nascarlogo

    NASCAR drivers are known for trading paint, spinning out rivals and are seemingly always ready for a fight. And those are just some of the same elements that NASCAR drivers share with CEO’s of some of the best middle-market companies, according to a new story.

  16. NASCAR: Kurt Busch tops Friday Cup practice at Pocono

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Busch posts a lap of 180.353 mph around the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle.

  17. JTG Daugherty creates new ‘rewards program’ for fans

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    jtg daugherty logo

    Much like a frequent flier or frequent hotel guest program, JTG Daugherty has created the first ‘rewards program’ for fans to earn awards and prizes using engagement with the team and its sponsors through social media.

  18. F1 2014 mid-season report: Grading the drivers so far

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    In part two of our mid-season report, we look at the drivers: who has excelled and who has floundered in 2014?

  19. Chip Ganassi to be honored for achievements in his racing career

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:34 AM EDT

    ToyotaCare 250 Getty Images

    Multi-motorsports team owner Chip Ganassi will be honored August 7 in Corning, N.Y., for more than a quarter-century of contributions to the auto racing world.

  20. Austin Dillon goes from hot asphalt to cold steel on ice

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Austin Dillon isn’t skating through his rookie season in Sprint Cup. Everything he achieves, he earns. But Dillon did try skating of a different kind and took to it like a natural.