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Inspired by his father and his late brother, Allan, Benny Simonsen was on the motorsport career ladder at just 10 years old, working his way up from Trofeo Abarths and Renault Clio Cups to Ferrari 458s, Bentley Continentals and Aston Martin Vantages, among many others. He’s competed in the British, Australian and Asian GT Championships, as well as the World Endurance Championship, and he’s a former class winner of the Spa 24 Hours and the Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD. He’s also a big fan of the ‘Rocky’ franchise too…
 
Name?
“My name is Benny Simonsen.”
 
Age? You can lie about that if you want…
“I’m 34 years old.”
 
Where and when was your first ever race, and how old were you?
“My first ever race was when I was 10 years old back in Denmark. My dad and my brother raced go-karts when I was very little, and as soon as I turned 10, I was allowed to race, and I never looked back.”
 
What is the best moment of your racing career so far?
“I would say there are two good moments for me. The first is winning the Spa 24 hours a few years back [Benny won the Am Cup class in a Team Parker Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra in 2015]. And on a personal level, some years ago, both me and my brother raced in two different categories, and we both had pole position, had the lap record, and won the race on the same weekend on the same circuit. That was a cool family thing!”
 
Which is your favourite circuit and why?
“For me I really like Bathurst in Australia. It’s a very challenging circuit, great atmosphere, great country, and a great race as well. So it’s the whole package. But the track is incredibly special to me. I’ve done pretty much every other circuit out there as I spent a bit of time in Australian GT.”
 
Describe the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a motor race …
“That’s a good question! [Pause] I was once told I could not win by the organisers, for political reasons. I’d rather not say which championship*.”
 
And did you win?
“We did, yes!”
 
*Before you ask, no, it wasn’t CREVENTIC!
 
Describe your helmet design to us, and what it signifies…
“It’s kind of based on my brother. For those who don’t know, my brother passed away some years ago*, and he raced as well, and he had on his helmet a Danish flag going into a Viking ship, which is kind of Danish heritage. So I continued with a mix of his design and a bit of my own.”
 
*Benny’s elder brother Allan was tragically lost on lap two of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans whilst racing an Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE. Since 2014, the ‘Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy’ has been awarded to the fastest qualifier at the Bathurst 12 Hours, an event for which the late Dane at one point held the lap record.  
 
What is your greatest strength?
“I think I’m very chilled out! People will say, ‘oh, everybody gets nervous’, but I think I’m a very calm person, and don’t get stressed or nervous. On-track, you need to stay calm in situations. And I think I have good speed too, but I guess every driver says that!”
 
If Hollywood made a movie about you, who would play you and why?
“I would have to say Sylvester Stallone. I love the Rocky movies, they’re great sports films, and I always find his movies fun. I wouldn’t say we’re very similar, but he’s one of my favourite actors.”
 
What would you like to achieve before retiring?
“I would like to race at Le-Mans 24 Hour and Daytona.”
 
Tell us a random fact about yourself that your fans might not know…
“I was a very good BMX rider as a kid, and competed at a decent level as well. I was probably 14/15 at the time, but I chose go-karting in the end.”
 
Finally, what do you enjoy most about competing in the 24H SERIES?
“I like endurance racing, and I think [the series] has a combination of everything. It’s a very friendly paddock as well, I would say. It has great circuits and a good mixture of the classes, so there’s some great racing out there. Of course that means you have to drive with your head. But we’re all here to have fun.”
 

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