Classic Sports Car
Mr Le Mans
In many ways it is odd there hasn’t been an English-language Tom Kristensen autobiography before now. Brits are drawn to Le Mans like no one else, and no driver has been – or likely will be – as successful as the affable Dane. He’s even a Bentley Boy.
So this translation and update of his award-winning Danish book with Dan Philipsen has been a long time coming. To call it an autobiography is not quite true because ‘TK’ provides passages to go with Philipsen’s background. In this version, top sports car writer Gary Watkins offers a chapter, so too Charles Bradley and Nils Finderup.
The concept is excellent, beginning with a crash that nearly killed him in DTM in the prologue and jumping to the extraordinary weeks leading up to his Le Mans debut, and it’s not a dry race-by-race slog. It’s big-picture stuff, getting under the skin of the nine-time winner from his perennial Formula One near-misses to his mindset exercises.
Some grammatical errors slip through, but the production matches the entry fee and the candid photographs are revealing. So too the story of crashing a Morris Marina at home… A must for anyone with a trip to France on their calendar every June. JP
£40 Tom Kristensen with Dan Philipsen, Evro. ISBN 9788797260302