Audi legend Kristensen to retire

November 19, 2014

Audi legend Kristensen to retire

November 19, 2014

Nine-time Le Mans 24 hour winner Tom Kristensen today announced his retirement from the sport. The Danish Audi legend will wave the checkered flag on his career after next week’s final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Brazil.

The 47-year-old won Le Mans on debut aboard a TWR Porsche WSC-95 for Joest Racing in 1997 and began a remarkable run of success when he joined Audi in 1999 – taking six wins in a row from 2000 to 2005 (including his 2003 victory for Bentley – another brand from the Volkswagen group).

The reigning FIA WEC Champion took his ninth win at Le Mans in 2013. After retirement, Kristensen will remain part of Audi as an ambassador.

kristensen2“I’ve had the privilege of driving for the best team and the world’s coolest automobile manufacturer for 15 years,” emphasizes Tom Kristensen.

“I’ve had great team-mates and worked together with fantastic people. With Audi, I’ve been able to win many titles and numerous races as well as experiencing some unforgettable, emotional moments. My string of victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours would not have been possible without Audi.

“Leaving this team as a driver is hard for me. But the day had to come at one time or another. I can only thank Audi and the entire staff for the great time I’ve had and look forward to my new tasks for the brand and the team of Audi Sport.”

In 2002, Kristensen won the American Le Mans Series in the Audi R8. And in the DTM the Dane showed his class as well. With nine pole positions, four race victories and 18 podium places, he was one of the most successful and best drivers of the Audi A4 DTM from 2004 to 2009.

Kristensen also holds the records for the most victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring – taking six overall wins.

kristensen3“Naturally, the retirement of a remarkable personality like Tom Kristensen is a great loss for Audi Sport Team Joest and the entire endurance racing scene,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

“We can understand his decision to quit at the pinnacle of his career. He’s the last member of the generation that Audi began with in prototype racing. Tom has been competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) as the reigning World Champion this year and shown that he’s still one of the world’s fastest and best sports car drivers.

“We’ll miss him as a driver but he’s going to continue to support us with his wealth of experience and his personality. We’re happy that Tom Kristensen has been and will continue to be an ‘Audian’ with his heart and soul.”

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