Kristensen tempted by racing return at Rolex 24

BY John Dagys • February 1, 2016

Tom Kristensen has admitted he’s been tempted by a return to driving, having not ruled out a potential future effort in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a race that the sports car racing legend has never participated in.

The nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, who retired from professional competition at the end of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season, served as Grand Marshal in last weekend’s around-the-clock endurance classic.

“Of course, the Rolex 24, with me being loyal to a lot of teams, has meant that it’s never materialized that I’ve driven here,” Kristensen told Sportscar365. “The Rolex 24 is of course a great race to start the season off. This was always on my mind.

“In that sense, it’s very tempting when you’re here and you’re a racer, you can say, ‘If one day the decision will change.'”

Kristensen’s temptation was ignited during Friday evening’s Grand Marshal dinner, where the 48-year-old Dane signed a contract on a napkin with former Audi teammate and fellow retiree Allan McNish and Chip Ganassi, saying Ganassi will field a car for them at the Rolex 24 when “we’re 55.”

“I had a meeting with [Chip] at Mid-Ohio many years ago for IndyCar and he regretted not signing me then,” Kristensen said. “[Chip said], ‘I’d take you both on the spot.’ I then said, ‘I’ll do it if Allan does it.’

“There was a small contract made that evening. It was all over a little bit of wine.”

Kristensen has been coy on whether he could be serious about a potential return to the cockpit.

“I think it’s very tempting and is very great and it would have been great and it could have been great,” he said.

“You never say never. I think it’s incredibly kind of Chip to make that and it was one part of the evening which people loved.”

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