24h Le Mans
Tom Kristensen and the Lucky 7!
Today, 7 July, is the birthday of the nine-times winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, so here are seven stories to help him celebrate.
The number seven has cropped up time and time again throughout the life and career of Tom Kristensen, born on the seventh day of the seventh month in 1967. For proof, here are seven instanes of the number seven.
Instance 1: “Tom K” and the Summer of Love - Tom Kristensen was born in July 1967. This was the Summer of Love, best remembered for the rise of the hippie movement in San Francisco and the release of one of the Beatles greatest albums, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band”.
Instance 2: four races under #7 - Tom Kristensen raced under #7 four times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking two victories (1997 and 2003) and finishing third twice (2006 and 2010).
Instances 3 & 4: the 1997 winning #7 - That year, Tom Kristensen took his first Le Mans win on his race debut, co-driving the #7 Joest-Porsche TWR with Italian driver Michele Alboreto and Swede Stefan Johansson.
Instances 5 & 6: "Double 7" in 2003 - Kristensen took his fifth win at his seventh appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Bentley EXP Speed 8 shared with Italian Dindo Capello and Brit Guy Smith also sported the number 7.
Instance 7: a record seventh win - Exactly ten years ago, the great Dane took the chequered flag once again, claiming his seventh Le Mans victory to beat Jacky Ickx’s previous record.
Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO
Translated from French by Clair Pickworth
Photo: LE MANS, CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE, FRANCE, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, TUESDAY 10 JUNE 2014. With team-mates Lucas di Grassi and Marc Gené, Tom Kristensen finished runner-up in his final race at Le Mans, narrowly missing out on a tenth victory.