Once again, the world of racing received a shock. After years of dedication to the safety of motorsports, Bill Simpson has resigned his position. Simpson formed Simpson Performance Products because competitor safety was foremost in his life.
Once again, the world of racing received a shock. After years of dedication to the safety of motorsports, Bill Simpson has resigned his position.
Simpson formed Simpson Performance Products because competitor safety was foremost in his life. In 1997, Simpson sold two-thirds of the company to Carousel Capital. On July 17, 2001, Simpson submitted his resignation to the North Carolina company. Simpson Performance Products is a company who manufacturers a variety of safety equipment ranging from helmets to child seats. Simpson was very aware of how important safety is a major issue in motorsports since he himself was a racer. Many auto racing drivers and teams rely on his products as do bikers, volunteer event workers and the general public. The company will continue with "business as usual in terms of products and production," according to Simpson who will remain a third-owner of the company.
Commenting on the effect of the death of Dale Earnhardt caused in his recent decision, Simpson said "Dale was my pal. I need to just take some time to get my creative juices flowing again."
Simpson was at the heart of the news and controversy following the tragic fatal accident of Dale Earnhardt Sr. at the February Daytona 500. NASCAR officially announced that they had found one of Earnhardt's lap belts separated when they investigated the accident. This lead to death threats and innuendos of recklessness toward Simpson. Despite written reports by other safety experts and repeated attempts to discuss the "lap belt" with NASCAR officials, Simpson's life became hectic. He was hounded by the press and NASCAR fans.
There was a lot of support given to Simpson by drivers in NASCAR, CART, IRL and other major auto racing sanctioning groups. Many lent their full support to Simpson. However, the rumors did not fade even though no lap belt produced by Simpson had ever failed.
Many of us have witnessed horrific accidents in the amateur level and professional levels. We have seen drivers' walk away and we have questioned why. Ninety-percent of the drivers' were able to walk away thanks to the considerable research and development done by Bill Simpson. We are now witnessing the end of an era.
Motorsport.com offers their support to Bill Simpson in the years to come and we hope that someday he will find the desire to return to the research and development work for Simpson Performance Products.