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Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Kristensen proud of record
Denmark's Tom Kristensen
I've not looked back at my other wins - it still hasn't sunk in yet
Tom Kristensen
Denmark's Tom Kristensen says it is a dream come true to equal Jacky Ickx's record of six victories in the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours.

The 36-year-old led the challenge of the Goh Audi team, who won by 41 seconds on Sunday.

"As a young kid looking at what Jacky achieved it was something I could barely dream of," said Kristensen.

"But now having the same number of individual victories as him I am very, very proud."

Kristensen said he met Ickx at last month's Monaco Grand Prix, where the Belgian said he expected Kristensen to equal his record.

"Jacky Ickx wished me good luck at the Monaco Grand Prix and he said I will make it one day," Kristensen said.

Kristensen had to watch from the pits as co-driver Seiji Ara fended off the challenge of the Audi UK team to seal victory in the closing stages of the race.

And the Dane was quick to point out that his historic win was by no means a solo effort

"To equal Jacky I have just been a part of a fantastic team every year, fantastic drivers, engineers and mechanics," Kristensen said.

"There are many people I need to thank and I will make sure I do it personally.

"I have not thought to look back at my other wins yet. It still hasn't sunk in."

Kristenten rose to prominence winning the German Formula Three championship in 1991 and followed that up with the Japanese title in 1993.

Jacky Ickx, pictured in 1975
Ickx won in F1 as well as sportscars in a glittering career
When he failed to land a break into Formula One, Kristensen plied his trade in Japan for several years, before moving back to concentrate on sportscar racing in Europe.

He notched up his first Le Mans victory with the Joest Porsche team in 1997, the year he tested an F1 car for the first time with Minardi.

Sportscar success with BMW in 1999 led to some test drives for the German company's F1 partners Williams and Michelin.

Kristensen enjoyed continued success in sportscars, including five consecutive Le Mans wins from 2000 to 2004, all of them with Audi apart from sister company Bentley's sole win last year.

But despite a strong reputation as one of the best drivers outside F1, his last experience of a Grand Prix car came in 2000, and his hopes of a break at the top of the sport are now effectively over.

In contrast, Ickx carved out a reputation as one of the finest F1 drivers of his era as well as being the pre-eminent name in sportscar racing.

He won eight Grands Prix before drawing his 12-year career to a close in 1979.

Ickx took his first Le Mans win in 1969 with Ford, and triumphed for the American giant again in 1975, before switching to Porsche for his remaining four victories in 1977, '81 and '82.

He remains the only driver to have conquered the Paris-Dakar Rally, Le Mans, Spa 24 Hour, Sebring 12 Hour and the Bathurst 1000 in Australia.




SEE ALSO
Kristensen wins Le Mans
13 Jun 04  |  Motorsport
McNish out of Le Mans
12 Jun 04  |  Motorsport


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