WEC: 9-time Le Mans champ Tom Kristensen’s last ride underway

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It’s all come down to this for nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans champion Tom Kristensen.

The Danish sports car icon has now begun what may well be the final stint of his career inside the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro with roughly 90 minutes to go in today’s World Endurance Championship season finale at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

On a day that has seen Porsche and Toyota setting the tone, Kristensen will be looking to go out with at least a podium finish. His appearance has led to a wave of pit stops and driver switches among the LMP1 leaders.

With this particular group now having cycled, Porsche’s No. 14 919 Hybrid (Neel Jani) holds a slight advantage over the No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid (Anthony Davidson) with Kristensen now in third, Audi teammate Benoit Treluyer fourth in the No. 2, Mike Conway fifth in the No. 7 Toyota, and Mark Webber sixth in the No. 20 Porsche.

The KCMG Oreca leads the LMP2 fight, with Sergey Zlobin’s No. 27 SMP Oreca now up to second – albeit at seven laps off the pace. If the 27 manages to finish the race, Zlobin and SMP will lock up the LMP2 titles after the G-Drive Racing Ligier crashed out earlier in the first hour.

Darren Turner has the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 atop the leaderboard in GTE-Pro by a gap of almost one minute, and Aston also holds the GTE-Am lead with their No. 98 Vantage that’s currently being driven by Paul Dalla Lana.