Race organisers for the Bathurst 12 Hour have announced they will be honouring the memory of Allan Simonsen by awarding an annual pole position trophy in his name starting with the 2014 race (7–9 February).
Simonsen passed away after an accident at Le Mans earlier this year and the trophy for the fastest qualifier at the Bathurst 12 Hour has the blessing of his family and Maranello Motorsport, the team he raced with in the 12 hour.
“The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour team has the full support of our family to create the Allan Simonsen Pole Position trophy,” said Benny Simonsen, Allan’s younger brother and fellow GT racer.
“He told me that Bathurst was his favourite track and he just loved to go there. It is an honour to have the pole position award to be named after him.”
The Danish sportscar ace was blisteringly fast around Mount Panorama and set a number of lap records at the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
In other changes to qualifying for the Bathurst 12 Hour the Class A (International GT3) competitors will get a 15 minute qualifying period to themselves after open qualifying has finished. This has been done to allow the cars in outright contention an opportunity to set a lap time with fewer cars on track.
At previous events pole position was decided by a combination of times by a car’s fastest two drivers. In 2014 the quickest lap by any single driver will stand and there will be no penalties for going faster than the nominated ‘benchmark time’.
That’s great news for fans and competitors alike as we’ll finally get to see just how quick GT3 cars can be around the mountain.
[Source: Bathurst 12hr]