Kristensen to leave DTM after 2009

Tom Kristensen has announced that he will retire from the DTM at the end of the 2009 season to concentrate solely on sportscar racing

Kristensen to leave DTM after 2009

The Le Mans legend has contested the DTM for Audi around his sportscar programme since 2004, taking three race wins and third in the points in both 2005 and 2006. But he has decided that this will be his final attempt at the touring car series.

"It's been a long process making this decision and now it's final," said Kristensen.

"From now on, I'll be revving up my engine freely and fighting for the title once more. My personal final DTM spurt starts this weekend at Hockenheim.

"The DTM has been a fantastic period in my career during which I experienced a lot of different things and worked together with great people."

He admitted that Le Mans, which he has won a record eight times, is his major passion.

"Sharing the cockpit with other drivers, working together to come up with the optimum set-up, and fighting for victory on a unique track - that's simply the greatest thing for me," said Kristensen.

"That Audi gives me the opportunity to compete in two such different motorsport categories at the highest level is a big privilege which I greatly appreciate."

Audi Motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich said he understood Kristensen's desire to focus on Le Mans.

"I've had many discussions with Tom about his future and of course respect his decision to fully concentrate on sports cars," said Ullrich.

"When he leaves, the DTM will not only lose a fast racer who is always a candidate for victory, but also a great sportsman who is highly respected by both rivals and fans because of his fair conduct and friendly nature."

Kristensen will begin his final DTM season at Hockenheim this weekend. He is joined in Audi's flagship Abt team by reigning champion Timo Scheider, double champion Mattias Ekstrom, and Martin Tomczyk.

shares
comments
DTM: Runners and riders

Previous article

DTM: Runners and riders

Next article

Ekstrom tops Hockenheim practice

Ekstrom tops Hockenheim practice
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020