9 QUESTIONS FOR 9 TIME LE MANS WINNER TOM KRISTENSEN

from last on the grid to winner at the goodwood revival 2015 - © fiona hanson PHOTOGRAPHY

from last on the grid to winner at the goodwood revival 2015 - © fiona hanson PHOTOGRAPHY

ALAN MANN RACING: We loved having you as part of the team at Goodwood so the first and of course most important question is will you be driving for Alan Mann Racing again in the future?

TOM KRISTENSEN: Sure, but always in a different car!

AMR: After our issues in qualifying your win from last place at the Goodwood Revival was pretty spectacular, but is there a single race that stands out as the most special for you?

TK: That was fantastic! Maybe also the American Le Mans Series at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in 2002 where we (Dindo Capello and I) started last with our Audi Sport Team Joest’s R8 to go on and win – or the German Super Touring Car Championship at Nürburgring winning the final race from last row on the grid (Honda Accord).

Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, August 3rd 2002 - American Le Mans Series - Audi R8

Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, August 3rd 2002 - American Le Mans Series - Audi R8

AMR: This year was your fourth Goodwood Revival and you're an ambassador for the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix - So now that you're officially retired from racing, is classic motorsport something you're going to be doing a lot more of?

TK: Happy to, yes. It's important to show respect and passion for our great heritage that made us dream of capturing moments with a sport that is in our blood.

Tom has competed 4 times in The St. Mary’s Trophy at Goodwood. A win in an Austin Westminster A95 in 2010. Third with a Lotus Cortina in 2011. A win with a Ford Galaxie in 2013 and of course this year with Henry Mann and Alan Mann Racing in the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt. Tom also won the TT Tourist Trophy on very wet circuit in the 1963 Daytona Cobra with Kenny Bräck in 2013.

AMR: Throughout your career you've driven everything from single seaters to sports cars, which out of all of them was your favourite?

TK: I feel I excelled best with sportscars. It is the best and most healthy racing category on the planet according to my experience. Formula cars are the basic’s though, the extreme and it's important to make a name for yourself towards a long term future. The saloon cars are the most fun...Especially at Goodwood!

Tom during his F3 days in Japan where he won the championship in 1995

Tom during his F3 days in Japan where he won the championship in 1995

AMR: The Ford Fairlane you drove for us at Goodwood was the prototype that started the next 40 years of NASCAR design - Given its size and age what was your approach to driving it, were there any key priorities in your mind?

TK: Getting it sideways to turn was a priority!

Getting the Fairlane sideways - © Scott Dennis Photography

Getting the Fairlane sideways - © Scott Dennis Photography

AMR: You are involved with the development of young drivers at Audi and with fellow Dane Kevin Magnussen fighting through for a place in Formula 1 who are the young drivers that you are excited about?

TK: Plenty... I am watching and following many catagories and the younger drivers are fast, committed and close to their peak earlier due to many laps, simulator work, their understanding of data and intelligent collaboration with engineers and teams.

AMR: Your father Carl-Erik was a successful driver before you, will we be seeing the next generation of Kristensen's in motorsport?

TK: My brother is doing well in touring cars, but I will not be surprised if one or more of our sons will be fast, committed and passionate in racing too.

Carl-Erik Kristensen - 1980 Danish National Rallycross Champion - © Kurt Ellegaard

Carl-Erik Kristensen - 1980 Danish National Rallycross Champion - © Kurt Ellegaard

AMR: A friend of yours and fellow Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx's first professional drive was with Alan Mann Racing in 1964. Who is the driver that most inspired you over the years?

TK: Really, I wasn't aware of that, that’s great! Many drivers but Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti and Ayrton Senna – as well as living the life on the circuits with my Dad – were all very inspiring to my childhood dreams.

AMR: Finally, which of the Alan Mann Racing cars would you be most excited to drive from a historical and performance perspective?

Your choices are: Lotus Ford Cortina Mk I & Mk II, Ford Falcon Mk II, Ford Mustang Mk I, Ford Escort Mk I, Daytona Cobra, Ford GT40, Ford F3L-P69, Ford Open Sports Can-Am

TK: Definitely all the cars,  but I would like to wear my Audi overall doing it. I want to start with the Escort Mk I as I grew up watching my Dad being blindly fast in this model - and listening to him saying that his dream would be to drive the right-hand drive Alan Mann car.

AMR: Sounds good to us, we have an Escort ready and waiting.

Thanks a lot to Tom for taking the time to answer our questions.
To find out more about what Tom's up to at the moment head to his official website:

 
A pair of Escorts at Silverstone, 1968

A pair of Escorts at Silverstone, 1968