The world of motor racing is in shock this evening following news of the death of former NTT IndyCar Series driver and motorsport safety pioneer Bill Simpson.
Simpson who developed new racing helmets, fire proof gloves and racing overalls passed away following a stroke, he was 79.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown tweeted:
Sad news at the passing of Bill Simpson. He leaves a big legacy in the safety we take for granted in motorsports today. A passionate innovator, racer and one of our sport’s true characters.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J Douglas Boles said:
I’ve worked w/ Bill Simpson nearly 30 years. Last year, I flew with him on his plane from an event & got 3 hours of stories, ideas, laughter & concerns. It was his birthday. When we landed, I had treats greet him! He will be missed. His legacy foundational to safety in our sport!
Simpson famously set himself on fire to demonstrate the features of his protective fire suits and helmets.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will hold an event in honor of Bill in the coming days. RIP Bill Simpson.