|May 15, 2009
Source: Audi AG
– Audi driver will concentrate on sports cars as of 2010
– Impressive track record already shows 16 podium places
– Dane with unbroken ambition: “I’m going to fight for the title”
INGOLSTADT, Germany, May 15, 2009 – When the new season starts at Hockenheim on Sunday Audi driver Tom Kristensen will start to his personal final DTM spurt: The Dane will leave the DTM after the finale in October to fully concentrate on his big passion, sports car racing. As many as eight victories just at the 24-hour race at Le Mans make him the world’s most successful racer in this motorsport discipline.
When Tom Kristensen says goodbye to the paddock at the end of the season he will have been a member of the DTM family for half a decade and made his mark on the most popular international touring car series, both on and off the track. Seven pole positions, 16 podium places, and three victories already make for an impressive track record, which the Dane would like to extend even further: “It’s been a long process making this decision and now it’s final,” says Kristensen. “From now on, I’ll be revving up my engine freely and fight for the title once more. My personal final DTM spurt starts this weekend at Hockenheim.”
As successful as Tom Kristensen has been in the DTM, sports cars have always been his big passion. “Sharing the cockpit with other drivers, working together to come up with the optimum setup, and fighting for victory on a unique track – that’s simply the greatest thing for me,” raves Kristensen. Eight times, more than any other driver in the world, the 41-year-old Dane won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, most recently in summer 2008 with the Audi R10 TDI. “That Audi gives me the opportunity to compete in two such different motorsport categories at the highest level is a big privilege which I greatly appreciate,” says Kristensen.
Kristensen loves the balancing act between the DTM and Le Mans as it allows him to play out his – arguably unique – versatility in the cockpits of different race cars. When asked about his personal favorite his answer is always diplomatic: Le Mans is the best and biggest race for him, the DTM the best and biggest race series. “The DTM has been a fantastic period in my career during which I experienced a lot of different things and worked together with great people,” says the family man and father of three looking back on the past few years.
“I’ve had many discussions with Tom about his future and of course respect his decision to fully concentrate on sports cars,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “When he leaves, the DTM will not only lose a fast racer who is always a candidate for victory, but also a great sportsman who is highly respected by both rivals and fans because of his fair conduct and friendly nature. Now, we’re jointly looking forward to ten exciting DTM weekends.”
Even before the start to the DTM season, Kristensen pocketed his first win: Together with Dindo Capello and Allan McNish he won the 12-hour race at Sebring in March in the Audi R15 TDI’s maiden run. In Mid-June he wants to clinch his ninth victory at Le Mans in the newly developed diesel sports car.