The Winner's Guide to a Lap of Le Mans

·1 min read
tom kristensen
The Winner's Guide to a Lap of Le MansIllustrations by NVM Illustration
tom kristensen
Illustrations by NVM Illustration

Tom Kristensen has his own language to narrate a lap of Circuit de la Sarthe. “Downshifting” is boo boo boom. “Snaking through a corner” is schooooop. Kristensen has driven to nine overall 24 Hours of Le Mans victories on this course; he has the bona fides to rattle on about it anyway he likes. He speaks Le Mans fluently. English, French, or his native Danish? They’re incidental dialects.

This story originally appeared in Volume 16 of Road & Track.

Kristensen, 55, has won almost 10 percent of the 24 Hours that have run. Here he takes Road & Track through a lap of this greatest of all racing venues, using a 2013 Audi R18 e-tron quattro for reference. He could communicate through semaphore or finger painting, and we’d still be rapt.

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