As CNN notes, the Danish driver crashed into one of the safety barriers at the Tertre Rouge corner just minutes into the day-long endurance race. Allan Simonsen, who was racing in an Aston Martin Vantage GTE was later taken to the hospital where he eventually died.
"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," said the race oraganizers in a statement."
According to Fox News, Allan Simonsen is the first man to lose his life at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race since Sebastien Enjolras died during pre-qualifying in 1997. The last person to die during the actual race was Jo Gartner back in 1986.
As Yahoo Sports notes, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race was delayed for an hour while the barrier in question was repaired. Per Huffington Post, Aston Martin has confirmed that its remaining cars will stay in the competition.
"Following the ACO's media statement concerning the tragic death of Aston Martin Racing driver Allan Simonsen, and at the specific request of his family, the team will continue in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in tribute to Allan," the team said in a statement.
The 24 hours of Le Mans race was celebrating its 90th anniversary on Saturday. Per Associated Press, up to three drivers can alternate the same car during the race, with the team that finishes the most laps taking home the victory. Simonsen had posted the fastest qualifying time in the GTE-Am class earlier this week.
Allan Simonsen had told Reuters that he was looking forward to the event.
"Just being at Le Mans and to be allowed to drive the car on the track is incredibly special," he said. "It's the biggest race for us. It's the one we most look forward to. It's also difficult because there are so many excellent drivers from all over the world - it's a huge challenge."
You can watch video of Allan Simonsen's crash at the 24 hours of Le Mans race from three different angles below. Be wary that the video is graphic.