|March 19, 2006
From the Audi R10 TDI Straight into the A4 DTM
Spending a lot of time with the family or pursuing hobbies such as cycling and jet skiing at home in Hobro, Denmark, are unlikely propositions for Tom Kristensen this year. In the 2006 season, the 38-year-old Audi factory driver is shouldering as many as two racing commitments: In the Audi A4 DTM, he contests Europe’s most popular touring car series which is scheduled to start at Hockenheim on April 9th and, in addition, he is part of Audi’s ambitious diesel project in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The differences between these two racing disciplines notwithstanding, there is one thing they have in common: Tom Kristensen is considered one of the hot favourites in both.
As many as seven times Kristensen has won the world’s most famous endurance race in France, now being the record holder. After his victory in the Audi R10 TDI at Sebring (Florida) this weekend, the new diesel sportscar’s debut, the Dane will be flying on Sunday night directly from Miami to London, where the official DTM tests at Brands Hatch are scheduled to start on Monday. There, Kristensen will be taking the wheel of his new Audi A4 DTM – bearing the internal designation "R12 plus” – for the first time.
Yet the record holder has no problem switching from the 650-hp open-air sports prototype to the DTM touring car in which he claimed third place in the Championship last year: "No matter whether I climb into the R10 TDI or the A4 DTM – I always immediately feel that I’m sitting in an Audi.”