DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – One of the greatest names in the history of international sports car racing, Tom Kristensen, has been named as Grand Marshal for SuperSebring.
The record-breaking Dane will wave the green flag for both the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 1000 Miles of Sebring on Friday, March 20, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s headline 68th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday, March 21.
“It’s a great honor to be named Grand Marshal for both events and I can’t wait to be back at Sebring,” Kristensen said. “The particular challenges of this historic track are still clear in my mind, and the event always has such fantastic competitors and fans. I consider myself very lucky to have won the 12-hour race seven times and have so many great memories of incredible battles over the years. You have to be tough to win at Sebring – both the car and the driver – and the slogan “Respect the bumps” is one of the truest in all motorsport.”
Known affectionately as “Mr. Le Mans,” the 2013 World Endurance Champion holds the record for the most overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1997, 2000-2005, 2008, 2013) and at the Twelve Hours of Sebring (1999, ’00, ’05, ’06, ’09, ’12). The same as for last year’s Grand Marshal, Allan McNish, Kristensen’s last victory at Sebring – alongside the Scot and Dindo Capello – was on the occasion of the WEC’s first ever race on March 18, 2012.
The naming of Kristensen as Grand Marshal comes one week after the historic IMSA-ACO convergence announcement at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the one race during an illustrious career in which he never participated despite being a long-time ambassador for Rolex.
“Tom Kristensen earned legendary status in endurance racing through his many successes at both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “His records at both events may never be broken, making him a natural choice for this prestigious honor. We’re proud to welcome Tom as the Grand Marshal for SuperSebring 2020. With our recent historic announcement of convergence at the Rolex 24, Tom is the perfect example of a driver who has competed on both major stages that will soon become one common top platform.”
Kristensen has the distinction of winning in every category of motorsport in which he has raced, and has chalked up countless international wins and championships including the German and Japanese F3 championships in his earlier days and the 2001 American Le Mans Series and 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship in the second half of his career. He has also raced successfully in F3000, Formula Nippon, DTM, British Touring Cars and was a test driver in Formula One.
“There are many endurance drivers who have achieved success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Sebring, but there is only one Mr Le Mans,” WEC CEO Gérard Neveu said. “Tom’s incredible career speaks for itself and his record number of victories at Sebring as well as Le Mans make him the perfect Grand Marshal for this second consecutive SuperSebring event. We are truly delighted that he has agreed to take on this role, and we know that he will be greeted by everyone around the track with the respect and admiration that he deserves.”