Kristensen: Contact cost grid position

Tom Kristensen reckons his collision with the Strakka Acura in qualifying could have cost him a shot at a place on the front row for Sunday's Spa 1000km

Kristensen: Contact cost grid position

The Dane, who took on qualifying duties for the #7 Audi made contact with Danny Watts in the LMP2 pole-winning car at La Source hairpin just as the Audi was beginning its second flying lap - when the R15 TDI's Michelin tyres were at a premium.

"It happened at the end of my first flying lap," said Kristensen, who is taking part in his first race since injuring his Achilles tendon over the winter. "I flashed him through Blanchimont, but the visibility in your mirrors there is not so good.

"But then I followed him through the chicane which is very close and easy to see. I stayed in close down the straight and moved to the inside into the hairpin, and he turned in.

"I think it was his out-lap and he wouldn't have lost much time, he could even have had a tow. But I don't think he saw me though and Danny wouldn't do it on purpose."

Kristensen added that it was not so much the damage as the timing of the incident that cost him any chance of challenging Sebastien Bourdais' Peugeot and Audi's Timo Bernhard.

"There was some small damage, but at the time I didn't know how much and I had to wait until I passed the pits again and my engineer had seen it before I could know how bad it was," he said. "It was not enough to make a significant difference to lap times. But then I had already used up the best two laps of my tyres.

"On my third lap I ran wide and made a mistake, and on my fourth, which was my best, I got held up in traffic.

"It's disappointing but it shows the car has potential and I think we could have been a lot closer. Considering we are running with the Le Mans set-up I am very happy with where we are and the speed we are showing."

Watts, who took pole in LMP2 by 2.5s, said afterwards in the press conference that he didn't see Kristensen trying to pass him: "I had just crossed the line to start my first lap, just got to the apex of La Source and got hit by one of the Audis.

"I think it was my friend Tom Kristensen," he added, "but we'll let him off because I aspire to be as good as him one day."

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