Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish - Audi photoEnlarge Photo
He's been called the greatest driver ever to pilot a vehicle in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You can debate that claim, but you can't debate the fact that Tom Kristensen has won the great race nine times. Six of his wins were peeled off in consecutive years, and he's owned the race for multiple manufacturers. Still, his heart (and most of his wins) lie with Audi. Now, the man the world calls Mr. Le Mans, is set to retire.
At the age of 47, Kristensen is hanging up his helmet. The 2014 World Endurance Championship finale in Brazil will serve as the setting for his ultimate run around a racing circuit. It's a long way from his 1984 racing beginning, which happened behind the wheel of a go kart.
Kristensen followed the familiar path from karting to Formula 3 before testing at the Formula 1 level. He also dabbled in touring cars, which ultimately served as a great platform for him. It was endurance racing, however, that proved to be his true home in the world of motorsports.
Of the 18 times that Kristensen has entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he has walked away with a spot on the podium an absolutely amazing 14 times. Eleven of those runnings saw him standing on the top spot. At the beginning I said the claim that he's the greatest driver in the history of Le Mans was up for debate... I take that back, there's no question about it.
Enjoy your retirement Mr. Kristensen, to say you've earned it would be an understatement. Also, your pal Allan McNish is waiting for you on the beach with some beers.