“MR. LE MANS: TOM KRISTENSEN,” by Tom Kristensen with Dan Philipsen, is now available in the U.S.
Between 1997 and 2014, Tom Kristensen won the world’s toughest automobile race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, a record nine times and finished on the podium on five more occasions. Every time his car made it to the finish, in fact, he was in the top three.
It is no wonder that this great sports car driver is known as “Mr. Le Mans” to motorsports fans around the world.
Now retired from racing, Kristensen shares in this book his deepest personal reflections and insights from inside and outside the cockpit. He looks back on more than 30 years spent striving for perfection in racing and tells of the battles and setbacks that sometimes seemed impossible to overcome, including a terrible accident in 2007.
Voted “Sports Book of the Year” when originally published in Kristensen’s native Denmark, this thoughtful memoir is now available in English.
· Climbing the racing ladder, from Scandinavian Karting Champion into Formula 3 single-seaters, including championship titles in Germany (1991) and Japan (1993), then living in Japan and racing all classes including touring cars and Formula Nippon (F3000), leading to Formula 1 testing roles with Tyrrell, Williams and Michelin; his great years with Audi in DTM are also reflected on.
· Winning as an underdog on his first visit to Le Mans, in 1997, driving an elderly Joest-run privateer Porsche in which he impressed all onlookers with a night-time charge to vanquish Porsche’s factory-entered favorites.
· His years at BMW and winning the Sebring 12 Hours on his debut before his second Le Mans victory in 2000 on his maiden drive for Audi in the R8, a car that was to become all-conquering.
· Kristensen won the next five editions of Le Mans, four times with Audi – including private teams Goh (Japan) and Champion (USA) – and once with Bentley (in 2003), his last victory in this sequence taking him past Jacky Ickx’s previous record at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
· His eighth win came in the all-time classic contest at Le Mans, in 2008, a rollercoaster of a race in which his aging diesel-powered Audi R10 was never expected to beat the favored works Peugeots.
· One more victory with the Audi R18 e-tron in 2013 sealed his reputation as a true legend of Le Mans.
· His story includes exploits at other race tracks all over the world, none more prolific than the airport course in Sebring, Fla., home of America’s long-established classic 12-hour endurance race that Kristensen won six times.
· Personal reflections together with contributions from notable observers – including Nils Finderup (early years), English journalists Charles Bradley (trying years) and Gary Watkins (golden years) – complete a truly rounded portrait of the man and his achievements.
MR. LE MANS:
By Tom Kristensen
with Dan Philipsen
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich
US price: $55.00
Format: 9.6in x 6.7in
Page extent: 432
Illustration: 125 photos
About the Author:
Dan Philipsen, Tom Kristensen’s collaborator on this book, is an editor at TV2 Sport, Denmark’s leading sports broadcaster, and formerly a journalist with the daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten. He has had three other sports biographies published in Danish. His home country honored him as “Sports Reporter of the Year” in 2010 and awarded him the Werther Prize in 2014 for a series of newspaper articles about footballer Thomas Augustinussen.