race organiser the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) said in a statement: "At 15h09 the 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, driven by Allan Simonsen of Denmark, exited the track at high-speed at the Tertre Rouge corner on his fourth lap of the race.
It will be Karun's first race in nearly two months after his historic 6 th place in the legendary Le Mans
The 40-year-old drives an Audi R15 TDI along with co-drivers Dindo Capello from Italy and Denmark's Tom Kristensen, -the "Great Dane" gunning for his ninth Le Mans
triumph -in the same driver combination as for the past four years.
Personally, I'm hungrier than ever for more Le Mans
Our domination of Le Mans
in the 1950s was a foundation stone in our history and our success in the late '80s and early '90s reinforced our reputation as one of the great sports car manufacturers.
With Audi also withdrawing from the European Le Mans
title it won last year, the new R15 will only compete in the Sebring 12-hour event in March before defending their Le Mans
24 Hours title in June.
The former triple American Le Mans
Series champion switched to compete in the European-based equivalent this year but will now extend his 2008 season for Audi Sport by racing an R10 TDI alongside regular co-driver Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro.
The cars that came first and second will take part in a trophy presentation at the Le Mans
Sarthe circuit before this year's race on June 16.
Jaguar's famous D-Type sports car took five of the first six places in the Le Mans
24-hour race in 1957.
Herta said Dario Franchitti will be one of his teammates in some of the American Le Mans
The great Dane already has a prominent place in Le Mans
record books after an unrivalled seven wins in the endurance classic, but he is feeling the strain as another piece of history looms.
The German manufacturer has dominated sportscar racing in recent years, winning three of the last four Le Mans
races, and has pledged to stay on in the sport for the foreseeable future.