Kristensen had finished the 2006 DTM season third for Audi, and was looking to press on for a title win in 2007. On that day in April he lined up fifth on the grid, but fell to sixth after losing out at Turn One.
Thing went downhill even further from there:
“It was rare for me to crash, but on the first lap of a DTM race there are a lot of wild, hungry drivers all fighting for the lead,” he remembers.
“At Turn Four, I got a tap from my team-mate – I’d gone over the kerb trying to avoid that – and my first reaction was to try and keep my car out of the barrier.”
As often seen when a driver loses control, Kristensen kept his foot in, hoping to stay on the road and spin the car back around as soon as possible.
However, this decision had an unfortunate side-effect:
“I was now in a wild spin, sort of hidden in a tyre smokescreen, so I was in danger from the cars coming from behind.
“I was hit by Alexandre Prémat. He was doing nearly 200kph and went straight into the ‘A’ pillar of my car.”
“Then I got a second hit, on the other side, and at this point I passed out – I was out cold for nearly 30 minutes.”
The unconscious Kristensen had to undergo a full extrication process from his destroyed Audi A4. Prémat got himself out of his Audi but then had to lie down at the side of the circuit.
The Dane was taken into Mannheim Hospital for overnight observation whilst Prémat went to Ludwigsburg for treatment to back injuries.
Kristensen was let out of hospital a couple of days later with only bruises to show for the impact, joking upon his release: “It’s always time to leave when you start to enjoy hospital food!”
Laughs aside, Kristensen told Motor Sport the severity of the crash had made him think long and hard about his future in racing. His son Oswald been born only the week before: