Kristensen: "Le Mans can give you the worst nightmares"

Tom Kristensen will find himself in an unusual place when the 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off this weekend.

Kristensen: "Le Mans can give you the worst nightmares"
Tom Kristensen (DEN)
Audi Sport Team Joest: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer, Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis, René Rast, Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi
Audi Sport Team Joest: Tom Kristensen
Race winners Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loic Duval celebrate

Tom Kristensen first took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997, winning on debut. Since then, he hasn't missed the race once, winning eight more times before he announced his retirement in 2014. This year, he returns to the endurance racing classic in an unfamiliar position.

"It's always fantastic," Kristensen said about being back at Circuit de la Sarthe "For me personally, it's very, very different this year. I come here for 18 years trying to do the best for the team as a driver. This year, I'm just trying to enjoy every moment."

Although no longer a driver, Kristensen told Motorsport.com that he is still 'very much a part of Audi.'

"I will support them, any way that I can. I have been working a lot with the drivers, helping them in the preparation for the race."

The Danish racer knows how it feels to win this legendary event, better than anyone else. No driver in history can compare to his record nine victories with Jacky Ickx at six being the closest to that mark.

"When you achieve something at Le Mans, it's not something just you achieve. It's something you achieve as a group, as a team. We all live to have that dream, we have that passion. In that atmosphere, that's only something you get when you put in the work, when you are determined.

"On the other hand, Le Mans is also the opposite. Le Mans can give you the worst fears, the worst nightmares. It can be incredibly tough. But all that is sort of what makes the race.

"That's a great honor (to be Grand Marshal) as I try to give something back to the race."

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