Kristensen aims for Audi drive

Double Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen is favourite to replace Allan McNish in Audi's sportscar squad next season, according to marque insiders

Kristensen aims for Audi drive

McNish is set to relinquish his full-time seat for 2001 in order to concentrate on his Formula 1 testing duties with Toyota, and three-time British Touring Car Championship race winner Kristensen has declared himself available for the ride.

"It would be nice to be involved full-time," said Kristensen, who has raced for the Joest-run Audi team three times this season. "I have suggested to the team that I would be interested."

Audi sports boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich explained that no decision had been made but said: "If Tom would like to be part of our team, I would like that a lot."

Kristensen would likely end up in the American Le Mans Series if he signs with Audi. Its factory-backed programme looks certain to encompass the Stateside series, as well as Le Mans in June.

Kristensen said he is not looking at continuing in the BTCC next year. "My contract has run out with Honda," he explained, "and I'm not so interested in the new-look championship.

"I don't want to talk the championship down, but if I have the opportunity to race in the ALMS I will go for it. I've always enjoyed sportscars. They are state-of-the-art cars that are a lot of fun to drive."

Kristensen, 33, has an unrivalled sportscar career. He made one start in the All-Japan Sports-Prototype Championship with Toyota back in 1992 and finished second at Mine. He returned to the discipline to win Le Mans with the Joest Porsche squad in 1997.

Since then he has made just six sportscar starts, notching up a further win at Le Mans with Audi this year, two victories in the Sebring 12 Hours (1999-2000) and second place at last weekend's Petit Le Mans 1000-mile race.

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