Car news

01 January 2013

Driving Test: Tom Kristensen

We get candid with the Danish racing driver about his personal car preferences and experiences...

TopGear.com
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Did you pass your driving test in your first attempt?
Yes, I did.

Who taught you to drive?
My dad. He took me out when I was very young – especially in the winters when there was snow – and let me sit in his lap so I could operate the steering. He made sure we went into some oversteer so I was forced to correct it.

Was he a good teacher?
He is a former racing driver, so, yes, pretty good.

What car did you learn to drive in?
A right-hand-drive Morris Marina that my dad had borrowed in England, while visiting there.

What was the first car you bought?
My first car was a VW LT35 turbo-diesel V6, with an illegal sleeping cabin inside, which I used for karting.

What’s the worst car you’ve ever driven?
The Marina, for sure. It was sort of beige brown.

What’s the most expensive car you’ve bought?
An Audi R8.

What’s your dream car?
As a racing driver, it’s always next year’s racing car, so, for me, I’m really looking forward to Audi’s new Le Mans car for 2013.

Have you ever had a crash? What caused it?
When I was 12, my dad owned a Shell petrol station and had to go out on business for a weekend. I got bored and took the keys to his car with my friend and drove it in the backyard. But when I came back, the guy on the till had changed, and I knew he’d tell my mum and dad. I panicked and drove into the Shell signpost.

What’s the worst thing a passenger can say to you when you’re driving?
It doesn’t bother me what they say, to be honest. But the worst thing they can do is to try to play with the music – I’m the driver, so I get to decide.

Would you consider yourself a good driver?
I would, because I am pretty relaxed on the road. Probably something to do with age.

Have you ever had an awkward conversation with a police officer?
I will always smile, I will always be positive and if I have to pay a small fine, I’ll just say: “Thanks, and have a good day.”

Where’s your favourite place in the world to drive?
If you’re in a GT car, start down near Gibraltar, drive along the coast road, through Valencia, Barcelona, and up to Monaco. In a smaller car, drive from Monaco all the way up to Le Mans – there are some fantastic small roads along the way.

Draw us a car in two minutes...

Tags: driving test, tom kristensen

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