Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen says hello

The Autosport International Show 2011 proved to be a good one for Le Mans fans with many guest appearances by Le Mans drivers throughout the weekend. Travel Destinations staff were on their stand to give spectators advice on travel and tickets throughout the weekend, but guests at the stand on Saturday got an extra surprise when 8 times Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen visited the stand to say hello.

Celebrity Karting Challenge
Celebrity Karting Challenge

The Autosport Show got underway on Thursday 13th January to the sound of go-karts. Not just any go-karts, however, this was the Celebrity Karting Challenge arranged by Le Mans winner David Brabham for childrens’ charity Starlight. Amongst the many participants were the Drayson Racing team of Lord Drayson, Jonny Cocker and Emanuele Pirro.

Lord Drayson & Jonny Cocker (Drayson Racing)
Lord Drayson & Jonny Cocker (Drayson Racing)

Elsewhere Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Piers Philips from British LMP2 team Strakka Racing appeared for an interview on the Autosport main stage. The team had a very successful 2010 both in the Le Mans Series and at the 24 Hours and hope to continue that form in 2011. The interviews continued throughout the weekend with Le Mans winners Guy Smith & David Brabham answering the questions. Guy looked forward to another season in the American Le Mans Series with Dyson Racing, but David was more uncertain as he is currently without a drive in 2011, however with David’s endurance racing experience we are sure that a team will come calling soon.

Strakka Racing Team
Danny Watts, Jonny Kane & Piers Philips (Strakka Racing)

Double Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish made various appearances throughout the long weekend, but most memorable were his double acts with Audi team-mate Tom Kristensen as well as rival Peugeot driver (and F1 radio commentator) Anthony Davidson. Alongside Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish discussed how testing of the new Audi R18 was going well, whilst with Anthony Davidson the discussion centered on the new ACO regulations and how the smaller engines and fuel tanks will affect performance at Le Mans 2011. Peugeot will officially launch their Le Mans car on the 3rd February.

Anthony Davidson & Allan McNish
Anthony Davidson (Peugeot) and Allan McNish (Audi)

But the highlight for many of the Travel Destinations customers (and the staff) was the guest appearance of 8 time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen on the Travel Destinations stand. His appearance coincided with the presence of Radio Le Mans host John Hindhaugh who conducted a brief interview covering Tom’s recovery from an achilles tendon injury, the new Audi R18 and Tom’s brother’s travel business that brings thousands of Danish fans to Le Mans each year. The Travel Destinations team would like to thank both Tom and John for giving up their time to join us.

Tom Kristensen (Audi) & John Hindhaugh (Radio Le Mans)
Tom Kristensen (Audi) and John Hindhaugh (Radio Le Mans) on the Travel Destinations stand

So the Autosport International Show proved to be a very rewarding one for sports car fans. The show returns to the NEC in Birmingham next January (12th – 15th January 2012). We hope to see you all there.

If you haven’t done so already, you can still book your travel and tickets to see these drivers compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours 2011 (11th & 12th June). Call us now on (0844) 873 0203 to reserve your place.