words & photos: George Achorn
Looking back on Audi Club Nationals 2019, a definite highlight was Tom Kristensen’s storytelling beneath Space Shuttle Discovery at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.
One of the things Tom did before leaving the stage was to give a copy of his book to the Audi Club North America. The gesture was a kind one, and it reminded me that he’d put a call to his many friends in journalism and photography for photos when he was assembling the book several years ago. Given I’d worked as a photographer during many of his Le Mans years, I submitted a mix of my favorites that included Tom.
Some of those shots made the cut. You’ll find several in his book, a tome I’d highly suggest picking up if you don’t have one already. It’s available online on Tom’s website HERE, and word is that Audi USA may be bringing some in to add to the Audi collection.
In digging around after my return from Audi Club Nationals, I happened to run across the folder I’d submitted to the team assembling Tom’s book. As mentioned, some made it in… a real privilege given both the sheer range of photographers Tom has befriended over the years, and the long and storied career he built.
In order to celebrate that, and also to encourage you to consider picking up a copy for yourself, I’ve decided to publish all of my submissions here. Most aren’t in the book, and so hopefully that compliments your experience once you pick up a copy.
My own mix of photos range, from 2007 to his last year at Le Mans in 2014, and from closed R18 tests I’d attended. These shots are some of my favorites of Tom, of his Audi racecars, and also Kristensen with American executives like Scott Keogh and Johan de Nysschen. The collection of shots also includes many from his final Le Mans win in 2013, when a hard-fought final and ninth win was heavy in his heart as he dealt with the recent passing of his father and also the death during the race of his fellow countryman Allan Simonsen.