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Many honors for Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen made a star appearance at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Dane – with six victories in the endurance classic the record holder – was inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame. Fellow endurance racing legend Derek Bell presented Kristensen with the award. The officials also had another big surprise in store for the Dane and renamed the third corner on the track ‘Kristensen Corner’. Much to the delight of the fans in Florida, the endurance king also drove some laps of honor in an Audi R8 sporting the design of the racecar from Champion Racing, with which he celebrated his third victory at the race track. In addition to autograph sessions, hot laps and interviews, the long-serving Audi driver’s agenda also included visits to the Audi Turn 1 Club and meetings with guests from Audi of America.
Podium result for Audi at Sebring
An Audi customer team took its next podium finish in IMSA GTD class in the USA. After Magnus Racing won the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, the American privateer team also collected a trophy at the Sebring 12 Hours. The two Americans John Potter and Andy Lally finished third in an Audi R8 LMS with the German Marco Seefried in a race dominated by heavy rain and a lengthy red flag period.
A word from … Tom Kristensen
The Dane was an inductee into the Hall of Fame at the Sebring 12 Hours
With six wins to your name, you are still the record holder at the Sebring 12 Hour. You have now been inducted into the Hall of Fame. How important are the race and the honor to you?
I’m proud of the honor because the Sebring 12 Hours is one of the world’s best endurance races. The circuit is an absolute classic with its rough surface and challenging layout. Many great race cars have been developed into winners here. It was fantastic to win the 12-hour race with the Audi R8, R10 TDI, R15 TDI and the R18 TDI when they made their race debuts at Sebring. I hope that the circuit retains its classic character with the bumps and blind corners for many years to come. This is why we drivers love the track so much.
The officials had another surprise in store for you…
Correct! While the inclusion of new members into the Hall of Fame was announced some time ago, renaming Turn 3 into ‘Kristensen Corner’ was a real surprise. I really didn’t expect it. Many thanks to the official at the Sebring International Raceway.
During this weekend you delved deep into the history and were allowed to drive one of your former race winning cars. What did you think?
I returned again in an Audi R8. It was a fantastic feeling to drive Audi’s most successful LMP sportscar again in front of such a huge crowd – ‘Kristensen Corner’ in particular was great fun. I have fond memories of the race eleven years ago when at that time JJ Lehto, Marco Werner and I together with Frank Biela, Allan McNish, Emanuele Pirro and the Champion Racing squad clinched a one-two. That was the last victory for the R8 at Sebring.
After spending so many years as racing driver at Sebring, you could enjoy the event as visitor. Your impressions?
You could feel the enthusiasm of the fans throughout the entire weekend. It goes without saying that I didn’t waste the opportunity to visit the traditional spectating points around the track and to meet the public. I also visited the Audi Turn 1 Club, gave a lot of interviews, signed autographs and gave my guests on the passenger seat a feel for the circuit while lapping at speed in an Audi. One of my co-drivers was the well-known American motor racing team boss Chip Ganassi who won the ride at a charity event. It really was a wonderful weekend.