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

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