It wouldn’t have been as snappy, but this could just as easily have been titled Mr Inexplicably Never a Grand Prix Driver. When you reflect upon Tom Kristensen’s junior career and the rivals he beat, some of whom went on to win at motor racing’s top table, it seems bizarre that the Dane never so much as sat on a Formula 1 grid.
But in the manner of such as Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti and Kenny Bräck, he converted his natural spark into a hugely successful career in a parallel universe, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours at his first attempt and going on to become the most successful driver in the event’s history. He won the World Endurance Championship (2013), the American Le Mans Series (2001) and took F3 titles in both Germany (where he succeeded Michael Schumacher) and Japan, but he will always be most famous as the man who broke Jacky Ickx’s record of six Le Mans wins and eventually set the bar at nine.
Given that he was born at a Shell filling station run by his father Calle, a successful amateur racer, his future career path wasn’t altogether a surprise.