Tom Kristensen will look to add to already impressive resume in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2009 when Audi takes its new R15 model to La Sarthe for the first time this summer. caught up with the 'Great Dane' during the Racing4Charity karting event at the Autosport International show to enquire about the year ahead...
Tom, you're here in Birmingham for the karting event. It's a bit different to what you are used to...

Tom Kristensen:
Yeah obviously. It's the first time I will be behind the steering wheel in 2009 after the invitation came from David [Brabham] to take part in the charity event while I was here at the show. It was a good excuse to start the season in the bumper karts!
It's a big season for Audi with the introduction of the R15. How much are you looking forward to it after the success of both the R8 and the R10?

Tom Kristensen:
You look forward to any new season, but when there is a new machine to optimise, it also means the whole team is sharing the motivation to get it right and make sure we are faster than we were last year at Le Mans, where Peugeot had the fastest car.
The R15 won't do much racing before Le Mans. Will that make it more difficult going to La Sarthe because the car hasn't been regularly racing?

Tom Kristensen:
Yes and no, but that is the way Audi have always done it with new cars. You do Sebring and then continue the testing based on what you have learned at Sebring. Then you go to Le Mans and then after that, the car goes racing.

At the moment, the car probably won't go racing after Le Mans but you can't discuss how the financial climate will be at this time. With Audi having the good products that they have, they will be able to pick up again when finances have improved so if we have good races at Sebring and Le Mans, then I think we will see the Audi running more at an earlier date in the future than we might think.
Is there another season in the DTM for you in 2009?

Tom Kristensen:
Obviously you would need to speak to [Audi motorsport boss] Dr Ullrich about this as no decisions have been made, but I have sure he knows that I would like to do it - and do it better. I would hope to be more lucky in 2009, as three times last year I was on the front row and didn't get any points. That doesn't work in a tight championship like the DTM and for this reason I want to be back and want to go for the championship.
So there is unfinished business in the DTM as far as you are concerned?

Tom Kristensen:



Loading Comments...